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Town decision on West Islip dealership car wash on hold after residents complain

Islip Town Hall in 2011.

Islip Town Hall in 2011. Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Residents living behind a West Islip car dealership spoke out over concerns of added noise during a public hearing for a proposed automated car wash, prompting the Islip Town Planning Board to reserve decision on the application.

Situated at the northwest corner of the northern Sunrise Highway service road, 193 Sunrise Realty LLC, better known as Atlantic Automall, applied for a special permit for a car wash as an accessory use to a motor vehicle dealership to replace the hand-wash model currently in place there, Gary J. Bruno, the architect for the project, said Thursday night at the planning board meeting.

"We're installing an automated system as required by the automobile manufacturers," Bruno said. "Anybody buying a car these days spending $20-, $30-, $40,000 would expect their car to be washed" before delivery.

Joseph Bosco, a resident on Jackson Avenue, joined three of his fellow neighbors at the meeting to say that they have lodged several noise complaints to the dealership's management over the years -- including for excessive horn honking, loud radio playing and fireworks being set off on the property. While they say the issues were rectified by the dealership following their complaints, the nuisances often returned.

"I appreciate a $30,000 car owner wanting their new car to be clean, but I want my $350,000 house to be quiet at well," Bosco said during the hearing.

William Sullivan, who said he lives directly in back of the dealership on Jackson Avenue, said the noise from the drying mechanisms could impede his daily quality of life.

"I've been through car washes, and you can certainly hear that wind turbine as it blow-dries the car," Sullivan said. "I certainly wouldn't want to hear that all day."

Sean Colgan, a senior planner with the Islip Planning Department, said that if the planning board grants permission for an automated car wash, it would be subject to mandates for sound-deterring materials as well as limiting the use of the car wash to the vehicles the dealer has in stock or to those being serviced, but not for the public to get their cars cleaned.

"The Automall has every intention of being a good neighbor," Bruno said.

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