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Huntington town board expands stores' required lot size

Huntington Town is close to getting an updated

Huntington Town is close to getting an updated parking ticket management system. (June 29, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

Huntington has narrowly approved changes to its convenience-store regulations that call for a minimum lot size of such businesses in shopping centers.

The town board, in a 3-2 vote Tuesday, passed the changes requiring stores with less than 10,000 square feet in shopping centers to have a minimum lot area of 25,000 square feet, according to town documents. If a store doesn't, it must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson sponsored these changes, as well as others passed in June 2011, imposing the same rules on freestanding convenience stores. 7-Eleven sued the town after these rules were approved and has ZBA approval to build a freestanding store in Centerport.

"This legislation was influenced by that application," Cuthbertson said Wednesday, referring to recent and past code changes.

Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and board members Cuthbertson and Susan A. Berland, all Democrats, approved the resolution, and members Gene Cook and Mark Mayoka dissented. Both Cook, an Independence Party member, and Mayoka, a Republican, said they were concerned by the current suit between 7-Eleven and the town.

"I don't like restricting potential businesses," Cook said Wednesday.

Cuthbertson said the new rules are "reasonable" and "I don't know why they would want to sue," when asked if he worried the changes could trigger more legal action from 7-Eleven.

In a statement Wednesday, 7-Eleven said it is "aware of the adoption of the new convenience markets' regulations, and is reviewing them."

7-Eleven sued the town after the 2011 code changes, saying the regulations would "greatly impact 7-Eleven's ability to construct new free-standing stores," according to court documents.

7-Eleven also is embroiled in another lawsuit involving the proposed store in Centerport.

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