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Route 48 gas station and apartment proposal found incomplete

The proposal to convert an existing two-story retail building into a first-floor convenience store with two apartments on the second floor was back before the Southold Town Planning Board during a work session Monday, over a year since its original proposal.

The gas station would sit on the south side of Route 48 in Southold, just about 1,000 feet east of another proposed gas station, Southold Gas Station and Convenience Store.

The proposed site plan outlines 12 fueling stations and one canopy covering 3,520 square feet. Fifteen total parking spaces were also provided on the .85 acres of land in the General Business Zoning District. It proposed converting a nearly 3,000-square-foot former potato barn just west of Boisseau Avenue into a convenience store.

The latest proposal, named Jemcap Gas Station & Convenience Store, was found incomplete by planning staff because several pieces of information were missing. The applicant must submit samples of materials that will be used for the canopy and provide a more comprehensive photometric plan for all proposed exterior light fixtures, signage, canopy and parking area.

Planning staff was concerned about the floor plan. According to Southold Town code, convenience stores located within a gas station are considered accessory uses only if the retail store is 800 square feet or less. There is no proposed storage area for the store, which must be counted in the 800 square feet. If the retail space exceeds that size, it would be considered a second use, which is not permitted on a parcel this small.

“That’s a concern that stems from previous plans that are approved as a general floor plan and then once they’re already constructed they expand to the entire footprint and it just defeats the whole purpose of the code,” Planning Board staff member Brian Cummings said. 

With so much available floor area in this building, it seemed likely to planning staff that an expansion could occur after approvals, possibly costing the town an expensive litigation to enforce the site plan conditions, according to the staff report.

Mr. Cummings recommended that the applicant must submit a detailed, revised floor plan showing where exactly everything will go in the convenience store, like refrigerators, counters, and storage.

Photo caption: The proposed site of Jemcap Gas Station & Convenience Store. (File photo) 

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