Gas company Bolla L.I. Corp.'s presence in Smithtown may soon be growing, with an application for another service station moving swiftly through the town legislative process.
At a July 14 town board meeting, council members held a public hearing on the Garden City-based company's zone change petition for a lot at Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and Wicks Road, adjacent to the Hauppauge Industrial Park. Bolla has one location in service in Smithtown and has zoning applications pending for two more.
Eugene DeNicola, a Sayville attorney representing Bolla, discussed the petition and presented a traffic impact study. Bolla is requesting a zone change from wholesale service and industry to neighborhood business, a move DeNicola described as both "compatible" and "a vast improvement" to the existing site.
The 0.57-acre rectangular parcel houses a former Mobil station that has been shuttered for two years, Smithtown planning director David Flynn said. Bolla plans to demolish it and replace it with a 1,900-square-foot convenience store and a filling station complete with canopy. The proposed convenience store sales area exceeds what is permitted in the current zoning. The preliminary site plan calls for 10 gas pumps and 16 parking spots.
DeNicola said approving the request would help reverse blight. "There's really no adverse impact on anyone; it's probably beneficial to the town and to everyone," he said.
In April, the planning board recommended that the town board approve the zone change petition. The zoning would be compatible with the industrial park and wouldn't create an undesirable precedent, Flynn wrote in his recommendation.
The parcel is a small corner lot bordered on three sides by the Hauppauge Industrial Park. It is about 400 feet from a Long Island Expressway exit and more than 1,800 feet from the nearest residences, according to the recommendation. The filling station would effectively serve more than 30,000 industrial workers and 230,000 motorists daily, Flynn wrote.
The board is expected to vote on the petition in the coming months. It marks a sharp contrast to Bolla's other pending zone change request at Jericho Turnpike and Veterans Memorial Highway in Commack, which has been two years in the making. The 24-hour gas station is surrounded by homes. Neighbors who oppose it have gathered a petition with dozens of signatures. The town board will vote on the request in the fall.