Gas station plan worries Island Park residents

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Some Island Park residents Tuesday asked the Hempstead Town board to reject an application from a local gas station looking to expand, saying construction vibrations could weaken homes damaged by superstorm Sandy.

The board held a public hearing on the application from Hess Corporation, which is seeking a variance for two already installed 20,000-gallon double-walled fiberglass underground gasoline storage tanks. It wants to erect a convenience store and replace four pump islands with five under a 35- by 133-foot canopy. The 24-hour station is on Austin and Kingston boulevards.

"We know this station looks a little tired," said Kevin J. O'Brien, an attorney representing Hess, adding the station has been there since the 1950s. "That's why we are trying to improve it . . . and trying to be mindful of residents."

Hess petitioned the town about the two tanks in 2008, but O'Brien said they were installed in 2009 when Nassau County required the old ones be replaced. The proposed store would be about 1,234 square feet and 17 feet tall, O'Brien said. Construction would take about two months, he said.

"It would be a prefabricated building, so there shouldn't be too much construction on-site," said Kevin Papasian, the Melville-based engineer hired by Hess.

The board reserved its decision, after residents expressed concerns about construction noise, hours of operation, traffic and parking.

"My home is not structurally sound" due to Sandy, said Antonietta Weiner, who lives next to the station and submitted a petition with 44 signatures from residents opposed to the application. "All of us are concerned . . . The building is too close."

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