A lawsuit over a Commack gas station has forced Smithtown Town officials to indefinitely postpone changes to town's building code.
Smithtown town board members voted unanimously Tuesday to table a public hearing on a proposed amendment to town code that would change the limitations on convenience stores based on property zoning and size.
The public hearing would have interfered with pending litigation against Smithtown Town Board over its approval of a zoning change for a 12-pump Express Hess gas station to be built on the corner of Harned Road and Jericho Turnpike. The plans were approved by 3-2 vote on March 22.
The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 12, cites the plaintiff party as Gasoline Heaven of Commack versus Smithtown Town Board, according to WebCivil Supreme.
"Some residents that live back behind the area and some of the local businesses have joined together to file a lawsuit against Town of Smittown asking an independent party to review the decision that the three town board members made," said Rudy Massa, owner of Gasoline Heaven.
At a public hearing held Feb. 23, that a large gas station on the intersection of Harned Road and Jericho Turnpike would increase traffic on an already busy intersection.
Hess Gas Corporation is scheduled to appear before Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals about their application for special exceptions to build a 1,231-square-foot convenience store and increase its signage on Sept. 11.
The public hearing on changes to the town's building ordiance on special exception uses, to change the parameters for building convenience stores, has not been rescheduled.
"The town board decided not to pass the town code change as it refers to convenience stores. What it would really do is take the people’s day in court away from them," Massa said.
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