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Hess Gas Station Lawsuit Cancels Public Hearing on Town Code

Smithtown officials forced to table public hearing on changes to the town's building code for convenience stories due to pending litigation.

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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Greg Martinez September 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
"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," An important correction for the person making the above statement. The Town Board is elected by "the people," therefore they represent "the people." The persons who filed the lawsuit represent themselves.
Mike Hunt September 06, 2012 at 05:30 PM
The IRS should investigate Rudolph Massa
commackmom September 06, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Its NOT about car accidents......really.....
MM September 06, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Your delusional if you think Rudy cares about anything other than money. He was the first gas station in the area to have a surcharge for credit card purchases. How about the additional jobs the Hess station will create, plus the additional tax revenue. Maybe those who want the lot to remain empty would be willing to chip in and replace the tax revenue ?
Rita September 06, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Really people!!!!! There is nothing wrong with Rudy looking out for himself and his business. Wouldn't you do the same thing??? Any good business person would. Instead of bashing Rudy...think about what he has done for commack (supporting childrens teams/supporting the schools) and the residents of commack(jobs). If you have a problem with the cash/credit cost....go somewhere else. I have always been greeted by Rudy with a big hello. You don't get that from Hess or anywhere else. What is wrong with old fashion small businesses. And !!!! Its not Rudy's vault the corner is an eyesore....town of Smithtown has left it that way for years. Leave Rudy alone!!!!!!
SueDit September 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
right on and will do.
Victoria September 06, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Why does everyone have a problem with Rudy? Just asking.
11725 MAN September 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I am surprised that they are also not stating their concern for all the pidgeons and rats who will be made homeless by this proposed change?? Wake up Commack. This has been an eyesore for way too long and we have a few more spots to clean up next
Anne September 06, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Because the greedy jerk cares about only himself and not the rest of the town that wants all the abandoned buildings cleaned up. If it was a busy new McDonald's on that spot he wouldn't care less. He is suing to stall the process of cleaning up the abandoned property. Don't give him a nickel of your hard earned money until he stops his taxpayer money wasting lawsuit and gets rid of his credit card surcharges.
MM September 06, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Rudy should welcome the competition and strive to make people want to patronize his place rather than go to the new place. Trying to keep out the competition by claiming it will create traffic problems and accidents when in reality he is worried about money is wrong. He would be better off just coming out and being honest about it. Your right, its not Rudys fault the corner is an eyesore but the Town of Smithtown is trying to change that and they have filed a lawsuit to stop it.
Jimmy Bones September 07, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Now the town has to spend our money on a lawsuit over something that most of us want to see built. Instead of collecting tax revenue. GREAT!
Todd J. Zimmer September 07, 2012 at 02:56 AM
We all know this is nothing more than Rudy Massa trying to stomp out the competition of a bigger, better gas station/mini-mart that charges the SAME PRICE for cash or credit. The site used to house a Shell station. I didn't hear Rudy complaining when that station was there for many years until it closed in 2007? This is abut MONEY people, not about safety or traffic. Let's get real. I agree, STOP giving gasoline heaven the business. Go somewhere else. Suing to prevent competition is not what America is all about.
TTT September 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Rudy Massa is Bad Guy. Dont buy gas from him at gas heaven. Buy from other guys
Mike Hunt September 07, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Rudy has been ripping off the commack residents for decades. He doesnt pay taxes and he makes his employees work off thr books. He was price gauging during the hurricane selling bags of ice for double. He does not have Commack in his best interest and his son is as dumb as a rock
workinforalivin September 07, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Not surprising since he charges a surcharge to use your credit card. Why wouldn't you drive down the street to get the same price cash or credit at Hess? They couldn't build the new Hess fast enough in my opinion.
Bruce Harlow September 08, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Your suffering over an empty building! Wow your life must be perfect if that's what your suffering over! I can't get over the dramatics! I am actually a little embarrassed by that statement. Maybe it's just me but i don't ever recall suffering over an empty building before? Like is it ruining your day when you see it! Is this some sort of new phobia? Maybe it's the empty building phobia?
Paul September 08, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Its obvious that some people who post on the Commack patch are not aware that there is a 3% surcharge to all gasoline dealers for a credit or debit card. Interesting that the vicious postings mentioned earlier did not mention the current 19 cent surcharge for credit at the Mobil station on Jericho and Old Willetts or the the BP station. After reading some of these postings one would be led to believe that Rudi Massa was originator of the credit card surcharge and the only station on the planet that charges additional for credit cards. Morever, as a consumer you have choice to either pay cash or use your credit card, or go somewhere else, there is no cohersion . Furthermore, as a Smithtown resident I am not in favor of the Hess project due to the increased traffic hazards it presents, as well as the complete disregard to town zoning that is being attempted by Hess, try reading the code and all the variances and special exceptions being requested by Hess before making conclusions . In summary, I believe the outright viciousness which being demonstated by a few lowlife nameless individuals that have no courage to engage in meaningful dialogue of the issues , instead to hide in the shadows of the internet spewing hatred . These hatefilled individuals are not representative of the community at large. Instead a hateful person such as this is a person who has nothing more than a vendetta against a community businessman for some unknown reason and has no honest reasoning.
CommackMom September 10, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Well said Paul - Well said!
bill11725 September 10, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Yes - HESS is asking for 18 Variances from the Board of Zoning appeals. Does a gas station really belong there if they need that many special exceptions? Not to me...
Mike Hunt September 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Paul that was very well written however Rudolph Massa is still an evil man and will have to eventually answer for all his immoral wrong doings
Jimmy Bones September 10, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Paul, I dont care what Mobil charges for credit. I go,pay cash and get gas cheaper then all the other stations on the strip. Was there today .391 for reg. and I wasnt alone. 5 other cars. And most in the town believe Rudi started cash/credit pricing and if it was anything other then a gas station he would not care at all! Get out of the bubble your in. We are tired of looking at the mess on the corner. Now a lawsuit against the town. Come on! Give it up.
Paul September 11, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Mike Hunt, really ? You can't even man up and grow a set on the internet ? Pathetic. This posting is about the proposed Hess site. How does this make someone become immoral and evil ? You , whatever your real identity is are truly a disturbed individual with some sort of sick twisted animosity towards Rudi Massa, my advice is stay off the internet and seek immediate psychiatric help. Jimmy Bones, just for the record cash and credit pricing was in effect in many sites on Long Island well before Rudi started it , "most people" as you put it in town are totally wrong in their conclusion and need to get out in the real world more. But, at least you pay cash, like I said earlier, thats the way around the entire issue and all the stupidity surrounding the issue, see previous posting of the cash credit idiots in question . Did you happen to notice the cash credit differential at Mobil or does it just matter at Rudis Gulf ? As far as the corner being an eyesore , I agree , does that give every perceived eyesore in the town the green light to make it a Hess Station or any other brand by virtue of it looking like crap ? Using that criteria , Lets put gas stations everywhere !! The town has been approached about a another use for the site which is not fuel and not c-store, which meets all the current zoning requirements , but, since the board has kept this project alive the owners are clinging to it. The proposed project in question could have approved and been built sooner than Hess.
David Pearson September 11, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Hey Jimmy, with the amount of time you spend on the patch, I'm surprised you have the time to go around town and find out what most people in town think. I've lived in this town for 30 years, know a lot in the community and have never been able to gauge what most people in town think on any topic. I guess you must be polling the community somehow. That must be really hard to go all over town and find out what MOST think. WOW. You must be either the most popular guy in the community or you must have some sort of superpowers.
John Gruber September 12, 2012 at 02:33 PM
there's this beautiful thing called capitalism. it lets consumes choose where to go, it also allows businesses to charge their own price. Don't like the price? go to the gas station down the street that charges the same. if most people do this, he'll most likely change due to loss of businesses but he's not the only one who does it and I know several places that charge you extra if you don't buy enough so I just go somewhere else. voila
John Gruber September 12, 2012 at 02:35 PM
so because people at bad drivers that means someone can't open a business where one was previously? makes no sense
knee jerk September 12, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I agree with Bill11725, 18 variances for a gas station/convienience store? We need another fast food hamburger joint so we can have more choices, say an In & Out Burger or a Checkers. But I suppose Friendly's will then join in with the "area residents", dropping Rudy Massa from the lawsuit.
Allen September 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Dont buy gas at gasoline heaven because of this lawsuit. That is capitalism, showing the greedy guy (Rudy Massa) that he cant waste tax payer dollars that must now be spent defending his frivolous lawsuit against the town. Buy your gas at Bobs and Hess right down the road, then maybe Rudy will sue you for driving by and not buying his gas.
Margelott September 13, 2012 at 02:44 AM
You're right. I wont buy gas at Gasoline Heaven ever again!! I will go to HESS. Rudy is only trying to line his pockets and now is costing us more money by suing our town.
Darrell Knight September 14, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I have been reading the patch for about a year or so now and I am ashamed of the people living in this community. The things that people write about other people are just disgusting! I have been doing some research into the people that have been making posts on this subject as well as others, and I see a pattern here. Why is it that the people with the most mean spirited posts are the same people that have never written or commented on anything on The Patch ever before? I mean Mike Hunt? Real genius name there! First timer on The Patch for him as well as Margelott, Allen, workinforalivin, TTT, FedUp, Hank, LVL, Steve, as well as other stories where all the inappropriate things that are being said are only from people making one or two posts on the same topic and then are never to be heard of again! It's obvious to me that most of these degrading untrue posts are probably from 1 or 2 of the same people using different log in names! So while The Patch is making the community believe that a lot of people feel a certain way, it is actually not the case. It is the same low life people repeating themselves. I guess to these hateful people with "imaginary Friends" it must make them feel better. I say shame on Sarah Walsh and The Patch. I think The patch had much better story content without Sarah Walsh. It's a shame that she just can't create a piece worth reading.
LVL September 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Curious that you are a first timer, maybe you are Rudy Massa using a different log in name trying to save face using an alias because of your dastardly deeds? This is a great story about greed and using the legal system to feed your greed and try and stomp out the competition.

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