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Oyster Bay: Public to decide fate of Glen Head site

The future of a former Sunoco gas station

The future of a former Sunoco gas station in Glen Head is to be the subject of a community meeting. (March 12, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Emily Ngo

A Town of Oyster Bay park?

Or a bank building?

The fate of a long-shuttered Sunoco gas station in Glen Head is up to the community, Supervisor John Venditto said.

And an open meeting set for tonight could help determine the residents' preference.

"The community is kind of split," George Pombar, president of the Glen Head/Glenwood Landing Civic Council, said Tuesday.

Town officials said they could, as planned years ago, purchase the half-acre property on Glen Cove Avenue for $1.4 million and build a small park. The other option, community leaders said, is for the First National Bank of Long Island to buy the plot and erect a two-story office building.

As late as 2011, Oyster Bay was on course to buy the site and build a "passive park," but Sunoco's delay in remediating the site threw a wrench into plans.

"We thought we would purchase the property under an initial set of facts. That initial set of facts evaporated," Venditto explained during Tuesday's town board meeting.

He pushed back on community expectations that the town would definitely buy the site.

The plan to buy the land was "designed and calculated to . . . guide the development, that tool somehow evolved into a commitment," he said.

Sunoco has since cleaned up the property, and the bank has expressed interest in buying it, Pombar said.

Bank officials could not immediately provide comment, and Sunoco representatives did not respond Tuesday to a call and email for comment.

Pombar is to host a meeting Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at North Shore Middle School about the options. A park would be a pleasant addition, but a bank building would bring tax revenue, he said.

"We're going to present both sides of the coin," he said. "We're basically asking the community to fill out a survey form."

Pombar said residents four years ago stopped a convenience store from being built at the site. The current proposals are more preferable, he said.

"Whether it's a park or a bank, we're going to win, because that area's going to be cleaned up," he said.

Town spokeswoman Marta Kane said Oyster Bay will honor what the community decides and what "will do the greatest good for the greatest number of people."

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