The Huntington Town Board recently approved new application regulations for free-standing convenience markets. The changes include requiring a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals; a minimum lot size of 25,000 square feet; and, if the store operates between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., locating the building, parking lot, utilities and trash bins more than 25 feet from homes.
The code amendment also requires a 10-foot-wide landscape buffer to reduce noise and visual impact on residents. It also sets a minimum size for loading areas and requires one parking space for every 150 square feet of sales floor space.
The changes follow a planning department study of convenience markets in the town that concluded the stores generate more customers per hour during the morning than other retail operations. It also found that such stores located in shopping centers have sufficient parking and loading areas while free-standing markets did not.
As a result, the study found, parking and loading activities at free-standing stores often spilled over into adjacent residential areas, detracting from the quality of life in those neighborhoods. The study also concluded that such congestion created safety issues for pedestrians.