West Shore Drive Gas Station Petiton

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Town of Oyster Bay
74 Audrey Ave.
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
April 23, 2017
To Town Supervisor: Joseph Saladino
To Town of Oyster Bay Board Members:
Joseph D. Muscarella
Anthony D. Macagnone
Thomas P. Hand
Rebecca M. Alesia
Michele M. Johnson
Louis B. Imbroto

We the residents of Nassau Shores and surrounding Massapequa areas are sending you this letter/petition in regards to the property on the southeast corner of Merrick Road and West Shore Drive, hereby referred to as the abandoned gas station.
The property was once a gas/service station that has been unused/abandoned for approximately the last 10 years. It has come to our attention that the property is now under new ownership. The now current owner has plans to turn the property into a 24/7-gas station/mini mart, by asking for a special use permit. This current owner has no plans to actually occupy or use the property himself, but to rent/lease the property out to someone else, therefore making himself a landlord, with a main focus and interest in solely collecting rent, and making money. The current owner has no vested interest in the residents of Nassau Shores or the surrounding Massapequa area. The current owner is not a resident of Nassau Shores or the surrounding Massapequa area. The EPA and Federal Government had charged the current owner for Violating Federal Leak Prevention Laws, copies of which are attached at the end of this petition.


We as residents of Nassau Shores and the surrounding Massapequa area have issue with the property being used as a 24/7 operation with a mini mart. We have issue with giving any kind of permit to an owner who has been brought up on charges and found guilty of a Federal & EPA Crimes. We are urging and requesting that the Town of Oyster Bay NOT issue the special use permit needed and required for the property to be used as a 24/7-gas station/mini mart. We are urging the Town of Oyster Bay to look into an owner who has already in the past proven to be untrustworthy, and not environmentally conscious.


We are requesting limiting the hours of operation of the gas station from 6am-11pm, which would be in line with other businesses and parks in the area. We do not want the entrance to our community to be deemed as a commercial/industrial area, especially with two town parks, one directly across the street, Marjorie Post Community Park, and the other directly west, John J. Burns Park. The homes directly behind and across the street from the proposed gas station are plainly visible from Merrick Road. We are directly affected by the noise and lighting that is associated with any business, especially one that could potentially be open 24/7. Other area businesses are not in direct site of the homes like this proposed gas station would be.


We are asking that the design of the structure to be in line with the beauty of the surrounding community, and parks. We feel the beauty of the parks and community should not be compromised by the look of an industrial commercial property of any kind. We would like the design to be in line with parks and community surrounding it.


We are requesting that the current owner make a donation to the Nassau Shores Civic Association for the cost of repair to the pillar(s) that are very close to the abandoned gas station and will have to be renovated as part of the new gas station.
We would also like it known that since the property has been deserted/unused there have been no issues of vandalism of any kind. As much as it may look horrible it has been very quiet and basically undisturbed, EXCEPT for the following:



The previous owner(s) had let the underground tanks that held the gas, leak and seep into the ground, as well as, illegally dumping other toxins, therefore causing a dangerous plume to travel from the gas station towards the homes on West Shore Drive, Specifically the first house directly behind the gas station on the southeast side of the street, as well as, the two homes on the southwest side of the street behind the Nassau Shore Service Station. These homes have had wells drilled in front of the homes for monitoring purposes of the above-mentioned plume. To try and contain the plume and toxins steel was pounded into the ground around where the old gas tanks were on the abandoned property to try and stop the plume from traveling any further. However the damage was already done and the plume has traveled and reached these above-mentioned homes. The pounding of this steel into the ground has caused the homes in close proximity to the abandoned gas station to form cracks in the ceilings and walls, causing the homeowners unnecessary expenses of home repairs. It seems code now requires lots of steel to be pounded into the ground surrounding any gas tanks being lowered into the ground. Our concern is what damage that may due to the surrounding homes not only physically but structurally as well. The homeowners also should not have to incur unnecessary home repairs due to someone wanting to build a gas station.


We request structural evaluations to be done if in fact a gas station is allowed. We want to make sure there will be no structural damage to our homes, causing a decrease in our home value and unexpected, unnecessary costly home repairs that we should not be financially responsible for, or would have otherwise incurred.


The plume that has traveled to these existing homes is also a concern. It may be termed "contained" now, but clearly that is not the case for the following reason: the homeowner of the first house on the west side of West Shore Drive has been told that the plume has traveled past the wells and is traveling west toward the canal which is through her backyard and that of the 2nd home on the west side of West Shore Drive. So now a dangerous toxic plume has already infiltrated her home and yard where lives and has 2 young children, heading towards her backyard, where her children play, she was told the plume is seeking waters level which means the toxins will then be running off into the canal, where children swim, people boat and wildlife lives.


What guarantees do we have, as homeowners, when there are new gas tanks installed in the ground and the only one monitoring or having knowledge about them is the owner of said property. The EPA has already charged this gas station owner in 2002 and in Federal Court 2008 for violating federal leak prevention requirements (see documentation on both cases listed at the end of this petition). As homeowners we have the right to use our properties for our children to play in, entertain, and also grow gardens. Having a plume, with monitoring wells has been a major concern, what is getting into the soil, & groundwater, and what toxins have already traveled towards our backyards. What effect is that going to have on our children and their friends playing in our backyards? How about growing a garden. Would you want to plant in soil knowing there are toxins underground?? How is this affecting our property values? What will happen when that toxic plume reaches the canal, what affect will that cause not only the people using the water, but the wildlife that calls it home? We have all purchased homes is what is considered prestigious Nassau Shores, we don't expect our home to be devalued due to a toxic plume and a gas station with a 24/7 mini mart, owned by someone with a criminal record.


The other concerns we have are in regard to the special use permit that we feel should NOT be issued:

Safety: West Shore drive has had increased traffic in the last 10 years. There are more drivers living in Nassau Shores with young adults having their own vehicles, as well as their parents. West Shore is also a one of the emergency exit routes for the residents of Nassau Shores. West Shore Drive is used by the Massapequa School District for their students on the track and other teams. The students run up and down West Shore Drive as their practice route. There are also countless students who walk to and from Massapequa High School, Unqua Elementary School and even Berner Middle School since they are all in walking distance. West Shore Drive is also used for the Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, which starts in John J. Burns Park. West Shore Drive is also one of the streets used for the general public to park on when their are concerts and sporting events for John J Burns Park and Marjorie Post Park, both which are neighboring parks to West Shore Drive and Nassau Shores. South Merrick Road is also used as overflow parking for the general public using the parks. South Merrick Road has an access directly after the first house behind the abandoned gas station referenced. South Merrick Road is a heavily used through street as well. It goes from West Shore Drive to East Shore Drive. It is a heavily used street; the overflow of that traffic does flow onto West Shore Drive. The current owner is proposing to keep an entrance to his proposed gas station on the southeast side of West Shore Drive relatively close to the traffic light. This is bound to cause major accidents, additional traffic, and possible direct harm to the students using West Shore Drive as route to and from school, sports or any other activity. It should also be known that the employees and clients of the businesses adjacent and near the abandoned gas station for parking use West Shore Drive and South Merrick Road, as there is not ample parking by or surrounding these businesses. This also causes safety issues with cars having to ease up almost into the center of West Shore Drive from South Merrick Road just to see any oncoming traffic before making a turn in either direction onto West Shore Drive. An entrance into the proposed gas station would put lives in jeopardy, not only drivers, but those walking, including the children. 


Safety & Environmental: If a 24/7 mini mart is allowed it puts the community at risk. Mini marts are a known risk for theft. These thieves have weapons. Usually guns. To escape being caught there is direct risk of these thieves coming into our neighborhood, possible trying to get into our homes, possible hiding in our backyards or worse harming us or our children. It would also put the children of the Massapequa High School at direct risk. The high school is in very close proximity to West Shore Drive. The high school has an open campus policy; kids frequent all of the local eateries in the area. Locking down the school in the event of an emergency and possible locking kids out of the school puts them in direct harms way. Unqua Elementary School is just up the road from this proposed gas station, putting Elementary school children at risk. Again West Shore Drive is a direct path for children walking to and home from school, and it's a sports practice route. The robberies that have been occurring have been while a facility like a gas station/mini mart has been open with an attendant. No one can predict if and when a potential robbery may happen, but putting people in harms way is inexcusable. 



Light pollution is also a major concern. Unlike some of the other gas stations and or gas station/mini marts in the area, the homes on West Shore Drive are in direct line of sight to the proposed gas station. Any and all lights will be shining brightly into our homes. These lights will be high-level LED's. There will be lights under the canopy, as well as, lights surrounding the exterior of the canopy, plus the lighted signage of the gas station, and or possible mini mart. A 24/7 operation will cause light pollution to infiltrate into our bedrooms disrupting everyone’s nights sleep, and rest. People have to work. Disrupting the sleep pattern due to bright LED lights is a known and proven hazard, and unacceptable to people in a working community, and a community where children need sleep to be able to function in school. If a gas station is allowed we are hereby requesting it close no later than 11pm so the residents of the community be allowed a restful nights sleep, and reopen again at 6am. We also request the color temperature of the lighting to be no higher than 3,000k, as it has been proven that LED's that are in the 5,000 degree color temperature (typical of canopy, and other lighting in gas stations), disrupt sleep patterns. Those who go to sleep prior to an 11pm closing (such as children) should not have their sleep interrupted by lighting from a gas station. The tall lights in John J Burns Park are off by 11pm allowing for a nights sleep. We expect the same. Noise pollution is another concern. The cars pulling in and out. Possible horns blowing, people having their radios very loud, people talking, etc. and gas delivery noises, all interrupting the sleep of the community. Every business along the south side of Merrick Road from Park Blvd to Carmen Mill Road is closed by 11pm at night, every night. We don't want to downgrade the beauty of our community which is surrounded by two beautiful parks, both of which have had makeovers to enhance them, with such a commercial looking, brightly lit gas station. All businesses in the area are closed by 11pm. The area is quiet. We expect the same. Again a special use permit should be denied.


In Nassau Shores we already have Unqua Deli Mon-Sat 6am-6pm, Sunday 6am-4pm, which is owned and operated by a Massapequa resident. As a community we are happy to support Unqua Deli, Our community also has two supermarkets King Kullen opened Mon-Sat 6am-11pm, Sunday 7am-9pm and Best Market 6:30am-11pm within minutes of Nassau Shores. There is also a Mobile gas station/Bolla Market on the North side of Merrick Road east of the proposed gas station that is already open 24/7. Given all of the above supermarkets, Deli and gas station, it is completely unnecessary to have another gas station and even worse to allow a 24/7 mini mart. The hours of operation of the above mentioned markets certainly are more than covering the needs of the residents and community.

In looking at the Bolla gas station/mini mart as a reference, the entrance into the community surrounding the Bolla 24/7 operation is curved. The homes don't directly face the Bolla Market. There are no lights surrounding the canopy of the Bolla market. The proposed gas station on the corner of West Shore Drive and Merrick Road is in direct line of sight to at least the first five homes on the southwest side of West Shore Drive. The property butts directly up to the homes behind it on West Shore Drive and on South Merrick Road. The bright lights will affect all of the homes on both sides of West Shore Drive and on the North Side of South Merrick Road. We already have a 24/7 operation so close to West Shore Drive, having another one is making the community too commercialized. As Massapequa residents we are very concerned with the look of our community. We do not want to bring our property values down with increased commercialization. We also want to keep the feel and look of the parks that surround Nassau Shores. Both John J Burns Park, and Marjorie Post Park have had recent updates to their beautification. We want our neighborhood and the surrounding area to reflect the beautiful look of the parks, not take away from them with a very commercial looking building.

In conclusion we understand that the property has a right to be a gas station since it has already been zoned for one. However we do want that gas station to reflect and be built in consideration of the neighborhood, community and surrounding parks. We want all safety, environmental, lightning, and property concerns to be looked into and addressed. We want the hours of operation to be limited to a 6am open and 11pm close, in respect to the community and those of the surrounding homes in the area. We also do not want, a special use permit to be allowed for a 24/7 gas station/mini mart. We also have concerns with allowing an owner who already has a criminal record and has been convicted of environmental hazards to own and operate a business in our community. We already have an environmental issue from the previous owner.

Thank you for your concern and consideration on this issue.

The links as followed below:
https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/nye/pr/2008/2008jul21.html
https://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/cafbebb41895f4a9852572a000657b5c/a27a902cef64457b85257164006ba2c2!OpenDocument



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