Smithtown board OKs plan for Bolla gas mart in Hauppauge

Smithtown Town Hall on Main Street is shown Smithtown Town Hall on Main Street is shown here. (Feb. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

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Smithtown Town Board members Tuesday conditionally approved the site plan for a gas station and convenience store, paving the way for its construction at a busy Hauppauge intersection.

The board voted 4-1, with Supervisor Patrick Vecchio dissenting, to allow Garden City-based Bolla Operating Corp. to build a 16-pump filling station and 1,200-square-foot convenience store at the northwest corner of state Routes 347 and 111.

The plan also calls for the demolition of an 1,800-square-foot filling station and an adjacent, vacant two-story residence.

Councilmen Thomas McCarthy, Robert Creighton and Edward Wehrheim said the project cleans up a derelict site in town, which had previously been a gas station.

"That site has been in horrendous condition . . . for at least 18 years," Creighton said. "It was established that there were no traffic problems, which would preclude the building of that station."

In June 2013, the town board approved the request by Bolla, which operates dozens of gas stations on Long Island and in New York City, to rezone the site's residential portion to neighborhood business so it had sufficient land for the gas station and store.

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Vecchio, who was also the lone dissenter in the zone change request, cited concerns at the time over traffic generation and circulation.

Frank DeRubeis, town planning director, maintained his objections to the project Tuesday. "This corner is badly designed and has high-speed traffic moving through it," he said.

But McCarthy said his traffic concerns were alleviated by plans to demolish the old house on the property, adding, "You were able to get in on 111 and back out on 347."

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Bolla's attorney, David N. Altman of Melville-based Brown & Altman LP, was not immediately available for comment.

Senior town planner Peter Hans said the state Department of Transportation restricted the site to right-in and right-out turns on both Routes 347 and 111.

Conditions of the plan approval include obtaining permits from the town building department and state DOT before construction, as well as architectural and canopy lighting requirements.

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