Under oath, representatives from 7-Eleven stated that without a monument sign on the corner of Kinderkamack Road and Van Buren Avenue, their would be shelved. The five foot and four-and-a-half inch internally light sign was debated for two hours before it was ultimately approved 6-2 by the River Edge Planning Board members.
"The proposed sign is actually not our standard sign," Peter Kibildis, Senior Real Estate Representative for 7-Eleven said. The companies standard monument sign measures 11-feet high but was reduced due to concerns by board members. "The site on Kinderkamack Road is desirable to 7-Eleven but I don't feel that the location could be successful without the sign due to the building setback."
The 40-by-60-foot convenience store will be approximately 18.5 feet high with 13 parking spaces and have a 60 feet setback from Kinderkamack Road.
"This is not a destination business, but one based on impulse visits," Kibildis said. "Eighty percent of business relies on someone going from one place to another and stopping in to grab what they need on the go. It's important to have street signage for the best of the business and to make people aware that they are approaching the entrance so they can turn in safely."
The 24-hour operation would include the sign being on for the majority of the day, primarily being shut off during good weather but remaining on during inclement weather and overnight. Because the sign would be located perpendicular to Kinderkamack Road, the illuminated logo would face north and south and should have no impact on the residents on Kinderkamack Road or Clarendon Court.
"Certainly we need the business in town, but on the other hand, I think the applicant should have been more flexible in respect to the hours of lighting the sign. I don't think it's right to keep the sign lit all night," Planning Board member Edward Lane said.
Project engineer Harry Tuvel stated that moving the sign closer to the corner would enhance the safety of motorists, and their reaction time to decide if they will enter the lot.
"Without the monument sign, there is a great chance that motorists would travel past the business before realizing they could enter," Tuvel said. "I would consider this a low impact sign."
Customers can only enter or exit onto Kinderkamack Road; a separate exitway onto Van Buren Avenue will be reserved for delivery truck use only.
Additional aspects of the 7-Eleven plan include a system of retaining walls and landscaping to support the slope down from Kinderkamack Road toward the railroad tracks. The drainage system will be comprised of several catch basins, inlets and a water retention system to slow water before it enters the municipal system.
"This has been a tough property that has been vacant in town for a number of years," Planning Board member James Arakalian said. Arakalian led the motion to approve the monument sign. "We finally have somebody who wants to come in and build it up and make it into something we can be proud of."
The property which is owned by the Guerra family who also runs the nearby , will include the borough's Kinderkamack Road streetscape along both properties beginning from Van Buren Avenue up to the Service Center.