Residents packed Town Hall on Monday to express concern over a plan to build a new gas station and convenience store in Southold.
During a public hearing to discuss the proposal at Monday’s Planning Board meeting, several residents said they believe the project will negatively impact the area’s quality of life.
The proposal includes converting an existing 3,480-square foot building currently used for an RV sales and servicing business into a convenience store and gas station with 12 fueling stations, two canopies and nearly 30 parking spaces, according to town documents.
Attorney Charles Cuddy, who’s representing the applicant, noted that Southold has just one gas station and said the proposed location is ideal because it already includes an existing traffic light.
“This type of use certainly fits in with this type of district as a gasoline service station,” he said, adding that the hours of operation would be between 5 a.m. and midnight.
Carol Bertsch, who lives on Youngs Avenue, said she believes the proposal will attract crime and increase traffic, as well as create other problems for the community.
“An accident that happens at the proposed gas station would prove a catastrophe for the neighborhood,” she said. “I cannot imagine the position of the person who makes the decision of whom to evacuate first: the young children or the wheelchair bound elderly residents.”
Fellow Youngs Avenue resident Melissa Talarico said she believes the gas station and convenience store would attract drug dealers and prostitutes. She submitted a petition signed by over 300 people opposing the application.
The Planning Board adjourned the public hearing pending further review and a traffic study.
The Planning Board also held a public hearing for A&S Southold Oil, which owns Empire Gas at the intersection of Route 25 and Main Bayview Road in Southold and wants to build a canopy over its existing fuel pumps. After a resident expressed concern over how bright new lighting would be, the Planning Board closed the hearing and is expected to complete its review of the proposal.