Southold gas station plans amended to decrease overall size

The applicants who plan to build a gas station and convenience store on Route 48 in Southold are moving through the regulatory process after they were granted a special exception by the Southold Zoning Board of Appeals in April. 

A revised site plan for the gas station was reviewed at a Southold Planning Board work session Monday that shows a smaller convenience store footprint and reduced number of fuel pumps.

The applicant, Sukru Ilgin, previously submitted plans to convert an existing 3,476-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Route 48 and Youngs Avenue in Southold into a gas station with 12 fueling pumps, two canopies, 29 parking spaces and a convenience store.

Under the revised plan, the convenience store would be 2,400 square feet, with only one canopy and eight fuel tanks split among four islands instead.

Twenty-four parking spaces and two 20,000-gallon fuel storage tanks are also depicted in the plans.

Planning Board chair Don Wilcenski said changes were made based on requirements issued by the ZBA as conditions of approval, including a two-year completion timeline, limited hours of operation to 10 p.m. daily, banning any food franchises from opening on the property, restricting exiting vehicles from making a left turn westbound on Route 48 and preventing further expansion without ZBA approval.

During the work session, planner Brian Cummings reviewed suggested mitigation measures recommended in the Planning Board’s Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Among their requirements are that the applicant reduce impacts to groundwater by installing drought-resistant landscaping and minimizing irrigation needs through the use of rain sensors to prevent unnecessary watering.

The applicants indicated they would mitigate air quality impacts by following industry standards to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air.

The board also recommended that the design of the building fit in with a “vintage” look in character with the area and avoid using reflective surfaces.

Several parking spots were also recommended to be land-banked. “The finding was that there’s a lot of parking, they may not need all of that parking,” planning department director Heather Lanza explained. “So why not land-bank it and if they need it, add it later.”

Mr. Wilcenski took issue with a proposed reduction in driveway width from 40 feet to 30 feet, claiming it could lead to problems for delivery trucks and cars attempting to enter and exit. “We’ve had this situation in a lot of shopping centers,” he said. “I think that 30 feet is kind of narrow.”

The plans also don’t provide any plans for a sidewalk, which the Planning Board will likely require.

Several other mitigation measures were discussed at the work session, such as placing the vehicle vacuum station as far away from adjacent homes as possible and installing the diesel pump at a more convenient location for larger vehicles that use them.

The application was accepted as a submission by the Planning Board, who will discuss the project in more depth at future meetings.

It will also be referred to the building department, town engineer and Architectural Review Committee, Mr. Wilcenski said.

“They’re ready to proceed,” Charles Cuddy, legal counsel for the applicant, said at the meeting. “The two-year time frame is tight.”

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