RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Many residents of a New Jersey complex attended a planning board meeting Tuesday evening to voice their concerns over a proposed convenience store and gas station.

Residents of Bear’s Cove at Ramsey have been fighting for two years to block construction of a 24/7 Wawa and attached gas station on Route 17 just feet from their development.

“Any other thing that you could put in that lot short of a nuclear power plant would be a better result,” resident Laura Mandlebaum said.

Residents said the lights from the gas station will shine into their homes, they’ll smell the food and it will create significant traffic problems.

“It’s just an accident waiting to happen, anybody will know that because there’s not enough room for them to pull in and pull out with these big tractor-trailers,” another resident said. “This site doesn’t work. We want a healthy environment for the community and we want a safe environment for the people that travel up and down Route 17.”

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, many residents are most put off by the fact that the gas station will never close.

“It’s going to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — huge lights, lots of noise, trucks all day long,” said resident Richard Krim.

“Bringing people into the location that may not be desirable people after hours,” Janet Lee Pillitteri added.

A spokesman for Wawa told CBS2 that they are committed to being a good neighbor, and that their plans include fencing, increased landscape buffering, reduced lighting, and delivery restrictions at night.

Residents said Rt. 17 traffic in and out is still their biggest worry.

“You’re going to have too much converging traffic and it already exists, but it’s going to be worse,” one resident said.

On Tuesday night, residents were able to plead their case to the Ramsey Planning Board. They hope the borough will hear them out.

An attorney for the borough told CBS2’s Carrasco that they would not comment on pending applications. Another meeting on the proposed Wawa is set for July.


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