The Toms River Planning Board approved a small outside dining area for the Crabby Ricks Shore Shack on Route 35 in the Normandy Beach section of the township.
The applicant’s engineer Ray Carpenter said the business is located on the beach and has no inside seating. He estimated 85-percent of the business is take out, but that some customers like to eat on site and the owner was seeking to put up three tables to accommodate those customers.
The applicant needed to come before the board because much of the lot is non-conforming in its existing layout, however as the applicant is a tenant on the property he was seeking a waiver from making many of the improvements the code would require.
Carpenter noted that since taking possession of the store, new owner Richard Lee has already made some improvements by planting new landscaping and installing some pavers. As part of the application the applicant was proposing to improve traffic flow on the site so all exiting traffic was on Third Street rather than Route 35 and to create angled parking spaces whereas currently the site has an undelineated sand parking lot.
“I think it is a great idea,” said Board Engineer Ernest Peters, who said the new traffic flow would be a “betterment for the residents of the community.”
Board President Bill Suchodolski agreed it would be unfair to ask a tenant to perform more work on the land than what was being proposed.
“We look to work with applicants when we can and it is right to do so,” said Suchodolski.
The board unanimously approved the application.