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St. James residents oppose King Kullen expansion

At a public hearing last week, several St. James residents challenged a proposed zoning change that would allow a 4,000-square-foot expansion to the local King Kullen supermarket.

Two residents said they are worried that a bigger store would worsen traffic congestion behind the supermarket, on Washington Avenue, due to delivery trucks and other store traffic.

“When we have a problem right now with the store the size it is, I think that expanding the store is just going to exacerbate the problem,” said James Riley, a neighbor of the supermarket.

Vincent J. Pizzulli Jr., an attorney representing King Kullen, said the expansion was not designed to draw more customers to the store.

“The expansion is proposed in order to functionally redesign the interior, widen the aisles and improve the layout of the produce area so that the store will meet current industry standards and expectations for better service and selection,” Pizzulli said.

Frank Todaro of Smithtown spoke on behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 395, which is next to King Kullen.

“We do not oppose King Kullen expanding their store,” Todaro said. “Our concern is the way that they’ll expand the store in relation to our property. We are being crowded in and we feel that we are going to be crowded out ... We just hope that you would consider our point of view."

Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said representatives from the VFW post and King Kullen would meet in the coming month in an attempt to reach a solution.

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