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Brookhaven Town Planning Board denies 7-Eleven plan

Brett Houdek, president of Medford Taxpayers and Civic

Brett Houdek, president of Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association, agreed with the board's decision and said the planned site would be better suited for a medical office.     Credit: John Roca

A proposed 7-Eleven convenience store on Route 112 in Medford has been rejected by the Brookhaven Town Planning Board, saying it would hamper traffic.

The board on Monday voted 6-0, with one abstention, to deny a special permit and site plan for the 2,895-square-foot store, which had been proposed for a 0.8-acre site  at the southwest corner of Route 112 and Jamaica Avenue. Board member Patricia Kelly abstained.

Board members declined to comment, but in a statement of findings, they agreed with opponents of the project who said the store would have blocked traffic at a  busy intersection across the street from Sean Dixon Memorial Park.

The proposal had been opposed by local residents who said the store would have posed a safety hazard to children crossing the street to the playground, formerly known as Peppermint Park. Opponents said police records showed 12 traffic accidents had occurred at the intersection through the first 10 months of 2018. In one of those, a collision last August involved a pedestrian, opponents said.

"We're pleased that the planning board saw the community's outpouring of concern not to allow something that could impact a park [and the community] to such a great extent," Brett Houdek, president of the Medford Taxpayers and Civic Association, said in an interview after the vote. Houdek said the site, currently a vacant lot, is better suited for a medical office.

Attempts to reach Manhasset-based Apple Farm Realty, which proposed the plan, were unsuccessful.

In its findings statement, the planning board said Apple Farm's proposal to have delivery trucks use a single entrance to enter and leave the property was "unacceptable," noting it would affect traffic on Jamaica Avenue.

"This will also create a blockade of the parking stalls along the front of the store while the delivery trucks wait to exit," the statement said.

The board also doubted Apple Farm's contention that it would comply with a town law barring tractor trailer deliveries in the neighborhood. The 7-Eleven chain typically uses tractor-trailers to make deliveries to its stores, but "there is no evidence in the record that the 7-Eleven Corporation has agreed to the condition," the statement said. 

Opponents also said the proposed store would have affected other convenience stores in the area, including two other 7-Elevens within two miles of the one proposed by Apple Farm Realty. The findings statement did not address those issues.

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