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Dunkin' Still Trying to Build at Shuttered Gas Station Site in Monty

By Barbara A. Preston l August 1, 2021

An Edison-based company has re-applied for zoning variances and waivers to build a Dunkin’ Donuts at the busiest intersection in Montgomery Township. It seems it would be a tight squeeze on the half-acre lot.

The company, who lists Anton “Tony” Nader of Bernardsville as its president, has owned the broken-down building on the weed-infested corner lot at routes 518 and 206 since October 2011. Since then, Nader's company, "Montgomery 206 Realty, LLC," has appeared before the governing boards of local, county, and state officials.

A sketch of the Dunkin' Donuts planned for the Route 518/206 intersection, if zoning variances are approved.

Nader last appeared before the Montgomery zoning board in September 2015, and was granted a d "3" conditional use variance to allow the drive-through. The zoning board also granted preliminary and final site plan and bulk variance approval. Direction from NJ Department of Transportation and Somerset County concerned how two drive-through lanes would impact traffic.

Dunkin' is proposing "two drive up lanes with stacking (for) 16 vehicles." Cars would enter each drive-through lane from NJ State Highway Route 206. The only exit would be a right-turn-only onto County Route 518. There would be no exit onto Route 206.

When Nader and his team of lawyers and traffic experts appear online before the Montgomery zoning board on Tuesday, August 17 at about 7:30 pm, hopefully someone will ask whether traffic would back-up on Route 206 if too many drivers attempt to enter the drive-through lanes.

Will people in search of their cup of Dunkin' be parked on Route 206 while they wait their turn at the window?

The old gas station at Montgomery's busiest corner during COVID. Traffic is almost back to normal now.

In addition to two drive-through lanes, Nader proposes to demolish the existing building to construct a new one-story 1,823-sq-building with a 17-car parking lot. He would also install a pedestrian sidewalk for people to walk to Dunkin,' according to a legal notice published in a Bridgewater newspaper.

Nadar and Montgomery 206 Realty, LLC are seeking amended preliminary and final site plan approval to construct a Dunkin' on property at 1276 Route 206.

Dunkin' seeks the following variances and waivers:

Montgomery does not permit commercial parking lots within 25-feet of a street nor within 15-feet adjacent to any other property line. Dunkin' wants cars parked within 4-feet of County Route 518 and 9.1-feet along State Highway Route 206.

Dunkin' only wants to landscape 12.9 percent of the property rather than the required 45 percent.

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The minimum lot frontage and width requirement is 150 ft. where 143.46 ft. is proposed; The minimum front yard requirement is 50 ft. where 45.3 ft. is proposed; The minimum rear yard requirement is 50 ft. where proposed is 41.2 ft; The maximum allowable lot coverage is 55 percent where 84.4 percent is proposed.

Dunkin' is seeking relief from the Montgomery Township requirement that buildings with two frontages shall have two facades. A drive up window is proposed on the Route 518 frontage.

Montgomery requires a 15-foot-setback from property line for all structures, driveways and parking.. Dunkin's parking, driveway, and a retaining wall would all be closer to the property line than what is allowed.

Dunkin' wants brighter lights that what is permitted. They also are seeking relief from planting trees at 50-foot intervals. They propose only two trees.

The meeting can be viewed live on Comcast Channel 29 and online via Zoom.

(Webinar ID: 161 499 9846 Passcode: 961283)

Or join by phone: US +1 669 254 5252 or +1 646 828 7666 (Webinar ID: 161 499 9846 Passcode: 961283)

Questions, or to make arrangements to inspect the application on file or to participate in the public hearing online should be directed to the Montgomery Township Planning Office by calling 908.359.8211 during regular business hours.

Questions for the applicant (Dunkin' or franchisee Anton “Tony” Nader) may be directed to Jeffrey Lehrer, attorney, at 908.757.7800 ext. 180.


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