Emily DroobySep 13, 2017, 11:21 amSep 13, 2017, 12:34 pm

Wanaque residents say proposed Taco Bell would bring unwanted noise, increased traffic

Company behind plans says Greenwood Ave. location is ideal due to proximity to Rt-287, community college

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WANAQUE — Greenwood Avenue is supposed to be a quiet residential street but locals worry the proposed business could change that.

Residents are pushing back against the Taco Bell that's trying to replace a house and lot located right at the start of Greenwood Avenue. The road lets out onto Union Avenue, which is lined with businesses like a Burger King and a Holiday Inn. But local residents say that the house is just too close to their neighborhood.

While the site is zoned for commercial use, locals are concerned because the fast food restaurant’s exit and entrance would have to be on Greenwood and not Union Avenue, which according to the applicant's lawyer, is necessary under county law. Most residents say they're worried about increased traffic on an already busy street.

"At rush hour around here it's ridiculous, so for them to put a Taco Bell over there and have an add an extra 100, 200 people per hour, it's going to be a little bit out of control," says Kevin Garrett.

Back when the project was pitched, many residents voiced concerns, mentioning problems that could come with construction, including water runoff and early morning noise and light. They say those problems would only get worse should the restaurant actually open.

The company behind the proposal is calling it a good location thanks to how close it is to both Route 287 and Passaic County Community College. In response to the complaints, they submitted a revised plan to the Wanaque Planning Board on Tuesday that includes fewer parking spaces and a bigger drainage system. The company says they would even consider limiting deliveries to after 7 a.m., but still residents are concerned.

Hearings on the application will continue on Nov. 8.

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