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politics

Emerson Council Approves Drive-Thrus, Buys Church Property

Emerson Borough Council changed the commercial zone to include a drive-thru as a permitted use.
Emerson Borough Council changed the commercial zone to include a drive-thru as a permitted use. Photo Credit: Facebook

EMERSON, N.J. — Major changes are on the way in Emerson after two recent “outstanding developments” were approved by Borough Council, Mayor Lou Lamatina told Daily Voice.

By a vote of 5 to 1, the council amended an ordinance in the RC (commercial) zone to make a drive-thru a permitted conditional use, the mayor said.

“Anyone who applies to build a commercial building doesn’t have to get a variance for the drive-thru,” Lamatina said. “It’s now a conditional use as long as you meet the zone requirements — which are very specific.”

The commercial zone runs from Chestnut Avenue north to the Westwood border, and only the west side of Kinderkamack Road.

A builder for Starbucks contacted borough officials in early 2015 requesting a commercial zone change to include a drive-thru as a permitted use.

In a unanimous 6-0 vote, Borough Council also authorized the mayor to execute a contract for the purchase of 58 Locust Ave. from Assumption Church.

Borough officials are looking into constructing a public safety building on the property for the police department and ambulance corps, the mayor said.

“The police facility has been inadequate for many years,” Lamatina said. “This council is now addressing it.”

The mayor is looking to close title in Feburary, but has no plans to build as of yet.

A committee has been formed to retain an architect and officials will be discussing plans “in the near future,” Lamatina said.

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