The Smithtown Town Board approved a zoning change needed to build a gas station and convenience store at the intersection of two busy state highways in a 4-1 vote at its meeting last week.
Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio was the dissenting vote for the store and filling station, which would be at the northwest corner of state routes 347 and 111.
“I’m totally convinced it’s a terribly hazardous place, which will have problems with traffic circulation and generation,” Vecchio said in an interview.
Garden City-based Bolla Operating Corp. purchased the gas station site, as well as an adjacent property zoned for residential uses, said town planning director Frank DeRubeis.
The company asked the town board to rezone the residential parcel for a neighborhood business so that it has sufficient land for the 16-pump filling station and 1,200-square-foot convenience store.
The site, which is vacant, had been occupied by a gas station until it closed at least three years ago, DeRubeis said, adding that he opposed the rezoning “on one of the most congested intersections in town.”
Councilman Kevin Malloy said he voted for the rezoning because there was previously a gas station at the site for several years. “It’s a perfect site for one and there will be competition for Hess” across the street, he said.
When asked about traffic concerns, Malloy said, “There’s a traffic issue no matter where you go on Long Island .?.?. There’s no significant change in traffic enough to deny that application.”
Councilman Thomas McCarthy said the next step is for Bolla to develop a site plan.
“At that point the New York State Department of Transportation will decide where the curb cuts are,” McCarthy said. “That’s not our jurisdiction.”
Vecchio said he believes the state Department of Transportation “will attempt to put very strict curbs on the entrances and exits into that station.”