A handful of people and attorneys representing Five Towns merchants and residents and Rockaway Turnpike gas stations voiced opposition to request to add a to its warehouse store in North Lawrence.
Opponents’ request on Wednesday to adjourn the chain’s variance request at the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals was granted, and a new hearing date was set on Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.
“Their concern is the traffic,” said William Bonesso, the attorney for M. Bola Oil Corp., which owns the Mobil station on Rockaway Turnpike and who filed the adjournment request. “My client wants to get a report on the impact on the traffic and parking.”
Costco brought its plan to convert 163 of the Lawrence store’s 822 parking spaces into a gas station in March. To do this, the company needs a parking variance from the BZA because the amount of spaces would not meet the required town minimum. It also needs a permit from the Town of Hempstead Board to install three 30,000-gallon storage tanks at the southwest corner of Rockaway Turnpike and Nassau Expressway.
“It could create a dangerous situation as they take away parking spaces,” said Michael Shanker, who is representing merchants and residents of Lawrence and Woodmere. “[Traffic] could back up as people try to get in.”
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
Roy Meserole, owner of the in Inwood and a member of the Inwood Civic Association, said there are already enough gas stations in that area.
“The traffic is overwhelming,” he said. “To add something of this magnitude, we can’t see anything but problems. It just seems unnecessary.”
Daniel Baker, the attorney for Costco, said it’s possible for the store to have more than 775 parking spaces after the station is built.
“The only concern I hear is that it infringes on their businesses,” Baker said of the opponents’ complaints. “I’ve heard there are traffic concerns. We’re prepared to show the board there will be no adverse affects.”