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Huntington car-care center move in question

Joe Colamussi, owner of the car-care business at

Joe Colamussi, owner of the car-care business at 733 Park Ave. -- seen on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 -- had planned to move the business to another site, but may hold off based on zoning regulations within the town of Huntington. Credit: Ed Betz

Plans to move a car-care center from one side of busy Park Avenue in Huntington to the other have been thrown into question.

Joe Colamussi, who owns the building at 734 Park Ave., has put it up for sale as medical office space. Colamussi had planned to move a car-care business he owns at 733 Park Ave. across the street to 734 Park, which has been a gas or service station as far back as the 1950s.

Neighbors had expressed concern about the proposed moves.

If Colamussi sells the property, he would convert it to a medical facility, said John Breslin, Colamussi's Huntington-based attorney and Realtor, who is handling the sale. He said his client is seeking a convenience store tenant for 733 Park.

"He's testing it to see if there's any interest in it [734 Park] as a completed medical building," Breslin said.

Colamussi has secured site plan approval and a building permit to start construction "and he put the foundation in for what would be the medical building, but I don't think there is a plan to complete it unless somebody wants it," Breslin said.

According to the town, zoning at 734 Park allows for a gas station with minor vehicle repair such as oil changes and tune ups, as an accessory use. Change of that use to a full-fledged motor vehicle repair shop would require permission from the zoning board of appeals.

A medical office building at the site would be unconditionally permitted, provided the owner complies with area requirements, including a buffer, parking and height restrictions, town officials said.

Breslin said since Colamussi purchased the building, there has been "some automotive use" continuously on the site, but there are no gas sales.

Jim Matthews, the attorney for the town's ZBA, said, "Theoretically, when they stopped selling gas they should have gone to the ZBA for permission to continue solely as a car care place."

There is no application before the ZBA in regard to 734 Park Ave., Matthews said.

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