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Gas station owners cited for tree removal in Commack

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of Smithtown on Long Island. (Jan. 5, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Operators of a Commack gas station removed trees from its rear buffer without proper permits, according to a violation notice.

The Smithtown Town Building Department issued the violation notice last month to Alfred Properties Corp. at the gas station, at 2207 Jericho Tpke., said town building director Joseph Arico. The violation notice meant that they had to immediately stop cutting trees, he said.

The operators received a building permit to install tanks on the property in February, but did not receive a permit to remove the trees, Arico said.

The property came before the Smithtown Town Planning Board in March, after Garden City-based Bolla LI Operating Corp. requested a zone change, from wholesale service industry to neighborhood business, to demolish structures at the site of a former gas station and build a new 24-hour gas station and convenience store.

Eugene DeNicola, a Sayville attorney representing Bolla, was not immediately available for comment. Neither representatives from Alfred Properties Corp., which records show has an office in Westhampton Beach, nor Bolla CEO and president Harry Singh could be reached.

Smithtown Planning Board member Conrad A. Chayes Sr. said he visited the site and “saw a substantial pile of cut branches and tree trunks” in the rear buffer near neighboring homes. “No matter how many little bushes they plant, it would take a long time for them to replace what was removed.”

Chayes said he planned on “grilling” Bolla representatives about why the trees were removed, adding, “It’s certainly not going to help their application.”

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