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Long IslandTowns

Backers of proposed Bay Shore gas station and convenience store try again to woo critics

This abandoned gas station on Main Street in

This abandoned gas station on Main Street in Bay Shore sits undeveloped on Feb. 5, 2014. Credit: Johnny Milano

A team of developers tried a third time to win over Bay Shore residents who have been battling a gas station from being built on Main Street on a site that has sat vacant and in deteriorating condition for 14 years.

But again some residents expressed their concerns for the Bolla Oil gas station project -- which they deem to be too large -- that is expected to be submitted to Islip Town within the next two weeks for a zoning change that would allow for more density on the property.

In the three meetings held at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library since December, residents have expressed their concerns over its size, along with issues such as pollution, noise and added traffic problems the project might bring.

"I feel like this site is simply too small and in too sensitive of an area for a gas station of this size," Susan Barbash, an area resident, said at the Monday night meeting. "This is one section of Montauk Highway that the commercial property is smack-up against an existing residential neighborhood of long standing."

Harry Singh, the president and chief executive of Bolla Oil who has been at each meeting, presented altered plans stemming from suggestions from the two prior meetings.

The facade of the 2,500- square-foot convenience store has been changed to a "Hamptons-style" look to blend in with other buildings in the community, and the store's hours have been cut from a 24-hour operation to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., although customers would still have access to the fuel, Singh said.

The current plan, which has been downsized from 10 pumps to eight and would come with a 30-year lease, will require five variances from the town as well as a special-use permit for the convenience store.

Applications to build on the site on Main Street between Sea-field Lane and Sunset Road in the past -- including a bank and a Hess gas station -- have failed.

Island Associates Real Estate Inc., which owns the three parcels that make up the plot, has been cited three times by the Town of Islip since 2009 for unregistered vehicles and overgrown vegetation, according to town records. The town has also cleaned up graffiti at the site on parts of the three dilapidated buildings.

Roger Delisle, of Island Associates, declined to address questions about the site's condition.

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