Smithtown’s Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled Tuesday to hear once more a proposal to build a 7-Eleven on the site of a disused bank on Fort Salonga Road.
The proposed 2,994-square-foot store would be about 2,500 feet from Fresh Pond and less than a mile from the Long Island Sound. Developers in February requested variances to alter environmentally sensitive land, eliminate a truck loading space and a 100-foot setback of structures to wetlands, and build a ground sign 69 square feet instead of 32 square feet.
Town planner Peter Hans said the new proposal is substantially unchanged but that town officials had discovered another variance would be needed because plans call for more floor area than zoning rules allow for the 0.75-acre parcel.
Suffolk County Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), who lives in the area and joined neighbors opposing the project at the last hearing, last week showed a reporter a streambed and a second pond behind the property that he said could be adversely affected by the planned construction.
"You’re trying to protect the environment and now you’re building farther into the wetlands," he said. The area Trotta described as wetlands is bounded by Fresh Pond Road, Breeze Hill Road and Woodmere Drive. It was densely wooded, with traces of deer and other wildlife, but it was far from pristine: trash dotted the landscape, and a Shell gas station and shopping plaza anchored by IGA supermarket are nearby.
Vincent Trimarco, a lawyer who represented site developer Basser-Kaufman at the first hearing, said in an interview at the time that the existing building, a former Capital One bank, is "almost double the size of what we’re putting there," and that his client’s plans for landscaping the site would decrease the amount of impervious space.