West Windsor Planning Board Reviews Chick-fil-A and Wawa Site Plan

The West Windsor Planning Board recently convened to discuss several topics, with the most significant being the application for a Chick-fil-A and Wawa development at 3499 US Route One. The proposed project, which is subject to careful scrutiny, involves detailed operational plans for the fast-food restaurant, including drive-thru lanes, parking logistics, and site design to manage traffic flow and ensure compliance with zoning regulations.

The meeting’s focal point was the application pb23-07 for Chick-fil-A’s preliminary final major site plan with sign waivers. Duncan Prim, the applicant’s representative, presented an overview of the property, the building capacity, parking spaces, and the specialized design of the drive-thru lanes. The project promises to incorporate technology such as geofencing to streamline the process for customers who place mobile orders.

Board members probed into the fine details, inquiring about the site’s ability to handle increased traffic, the operational efficiency of the drive-thru, and the integration of mobile orders and third-party deliveries. The representative underscored the selection process for the restaurant operator, stressing the importance of community connection and contribution. Operational hours were proposed as 6:30 AM to 10 PM, with closure on Sundays, and the facility is expected to provide employment for approximately 90 to 100 team members.

An engineer at the meeting detailed the modifications to the site plan, comparing it with the former hotel structure and highlighting the reduced impervious coverage and increased green space. The plan aims to merge previous curb cuts into a single access point.

In terms of compliance, the proposed Chick-fil-A is within the bulk table setbacks and zoning regulations for drive-thrus. However, the meeting delved into questions regarding the positioning and necessity of wayfinding signs intended to direct traffic to the drive-thru lanes.

The drive-thru design was another topic of keen interest, particularly with respect to the canopies for order and meal delivery and the circulation of vehicles. Team member comfort and safety were discussed, with plans for heaters, fans, and refuge areas in the drive-thru area. Concerns about the potential for accidents and the overall impact on traffic flow, especially near the adjacent Wawa gas station, were raised.

Landscaping plans were reviewed, focusing on the aesthetic appeal of the site. Developers proposed an increase in trees along the roadway and a dense buffer screening to obscure the drive-through from view. Discussion also touched upon the installation of concrete instead of pavers for durability, given the expected high traffic.

The board scrutinized the proposed lighting scheme, with plans for LED fixtures on poles and mounted on the building. Waivers were sought for the maximum foot candle requirement and the number of freestanding signs, with plans for a monument sign that includes a community message board.

The meeting further considered signage, including a request for relief from regulations on the number and size of building signs. The flags’ size and placement, particularly a debated 100-foot flagpole and its lighting, raised discussions about noise impact and the need for township regulations.

Parking logistics were discussed, including electric vehicle (EV) space placement and barrier-free parking. The parking layout faced scrutiny over the safety and functionality, with suggestions for alternative locations for banked parking spaces. Traffic and parking concerns were addressed by a civil engineer, who presented a traffic study and discussed the projected volumes and operational efficiency of the proposed driveway.

The application included several waiver requests regarding loading berths, parking spaces, and signage, which the board dissected, seeking reasoning behind each request. The potential increase in banked parking requests from Chick-fil-A, due to company growth, was discussed, with a professional planner providing input.

They debated the need for additional parking spaces, the impact of trash enclosure on site aesthetics, and the suitability of outdoor amenities.

The meeting concluded with the board addressing all conditions and waivers related to the application. A township landscape architect commended the layout’s efficiency while addressing aesthetic concerns.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Hemant Marathe
Planning Board Officials:
Curtis Hoberman, Allen Schectel, Martin Whitfield, Sue Appelget, Simon Pankove, Anis Ahmad Baig, Michael Karp, Jyotika Bahree, Robert Loverro, Pankaj Patel, Cindy Dziura (Recording Secretary), Lisa Komjati (Admin Secretary), Samuel Surtees (Manager -Division of Land Use)

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