Old Westbury delays gas station permit vote

Bill San Antonio

The Village of Old Westbury Board of Trustees on Monday deferred a decision to amend a special-use permit sought by Bolla Operating L.I. Corp. for changes to its Exxon-Mobil location at 3 Jericho Turnpike. 

The permit would allow the Exxon-Mobil gas station located at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Glen Cove Road to increase the size of its Bolla Market convenience store from 1,200 square feet to 2,600 square feet, and to double the amount of gas pumps from eight to 16. The pumps would also be moved to line up parallel to the convenience store.

David Altman, an attorney representing Bolla Operating L.I. Corp., said the company had conducted a traffic study in response to concerns expressed by village planning consultant John Ellsworth following presentations at the August and October presentations, 

The study, conducted by Stonefield Engineer and Design, concluded that most traffic generally makes a right turn into and out of the location at both the Glen Cove Road and Jericho Turnpike, said Charles Olivo, owner of Stonefield

“People that leave their home for work in the morning tend to stop at a gas station or a convenience store to get that cup of coffee, fuel their vehicle and then continue on their way,” Olivo said. “They’re not a new trip to the roadway system. What the industry standards tell us is that generally somewhere between 50 to 60 percent, on average, of the trips entering and exiting the site are already on the roadway.”

Olivo said motorists don’t tend to make left turns into or out of the property, due mainly to the continuous flow of traffic near the exit ramp of the Northern State Parkway. 

Village officials expressed concerns that by adding more pumps, the station would be increasing traffic congestion. 

Olivo responded, saying by having fewer pumps, cars don’t move in and out of the location as quickly as they would with more spots to fill up. 

“What’s happening today is that once every 10 minutes or so, someone will come and wait behind someone that’s fueling,” Olivo said. “There’s not enough capacity to meet the demand coming in.”

Trustees also questioned Bolla’s plan to add a takeout food service, asking whether customers would have enough parking spaces to accommodate spending extended periods of time in the store.

Olivo said the Bolla staff has been trained to prepare food in advance and execute speedy transactions, and cited the success of food service stations at other Bolla convenience stores. 

“We find that in doing these types of projects with this type of land use is that there’s a synergy with the gas fuel and the C-store itself,” Olivo said. “What we’ve come to find is that people fueling their vehicles and the pumps will come in and get a cup of coffee, so the fueling station also serves as a parking space.”

Trustees were also concerned that by moving the pumps parallel to the convenience store, the route of gas delivery trucks into and out of the location would be tighter. 

The station’s representation said the trucks would not deliver gas during peak hours – 7-9 a.m., 4-7 p.m., and 11-2 on Saturdays. 

Ellsworth said the Village is still in the process of reviewing the traffic report.

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