Commack residents are awaiting to hear whether Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals will approve 17 zoning variances requested by Hess in order to build on the Jericho Turnpike and Harned Road intersection.
Patch reported last week that building a 12-pump gas filling station and 1,230-square foot convenience at the former Shell site. Many expressed concerns about traffic safety and the 17 variances requested setting a bad precedent for future businesses on Jericho Turnpike.
We received an outpouring of comments and emails from residents saying they are in support of the project, wanting Hess to build in the community to help bring competition for lower gas prices and get ride of the eye sore the former Shell station has become.
"There are a half dozen closed up gas stations in Commack along with 50 or more boarded up/vacant retail stores. We need any new business we can get," wrote Frank.
One BZA member told Patch that they are a bit insulted that many residents feel like the board members have already made up their minds on the issue. He said given the community's division, he was unsure how to cast his vote and would have to carefully review each and every one of the 17 variance requests one by one, plus their overall impact on the community.
Yet, the BZA member felt that Hess could bring something to the Commack area by bringing in a new business.
We'd like to ask: Do you believe the BZA already has made its decision about Hess? Should Hess get blanket approval for its 17 variances, or would you be willing to see a Hess built with fewer zoning exceptions? Or, do you still hope Hess will not build?
Tell us in the comments below.