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Another denial for owner of tiny lot on Route 58

12/19/2016 7:00 AM |

The tiny restaurant proposed on a sliver of land between Taco Bell and the northeast corner of Harrison Avenue and Route 58 will not be approved in its current state, Planning Board members said Thursday night.

Applicant Chuck Chockalingam of Guddha LLC acquired the three-tenths of an acre property in a county tax sale and he had submitted several different plans to develop it over the year, none of which have received approval from the Planning Board.

The most recent one calls for a 1,000-square-foot takeout/self-service restaurant, much smaller than the 3,200-square-foot restaurant proposed in 2013.

“I don’t see how I’m going to be able to vote on anything on that property,” Planning Board member Ed Densieski said. “I don’t think public safety is going to be served.”

Mr. Densieski said he didn’t want to see Mr. Chockalingam spending his money on plans that won’t be approved.

Adam Grossman, the attorney for Mr. Chockalingam, said “this lot is my client’s retirement. If he can’t make it work, then no retirement.”

“It’s not fair to put that on us,” Planning Board chairman Stan Carey. “Usually people know what they can and can’t do when they close on a property.”

Mr. Carey suggested Mr. Chockalingam speak to the adjacent property owner to see if he’d allow a cross easement to allow the Guddha cars to park on that lot, thus freeing up space.

That could be a long shot.

Richard Israel, who owns the Taco Bell property and the office building behind it, had asked the Planning Board in 2013 to require a fence to keep customers from Mr. Chockalingam’s project from parking in his parking lot.

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