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Convenience Store

The site of McCarrick's Dairy in Rocky Point, which closed its doors in 2017, will become a 7-Eleven. Photo by Kyle Barr

The shuttered McCarrick’s Dairy, a fixture in Rocky Point for 71 years, might soon be bearing the green, white and orange colors of the ubiquitous 7-Eleven logo.

The Brookhaven Town planning board approved the plans for the new 7-Eleven at its July 30 meeting. The half-acre property, owned by Rocky Point based Dairy Farm LLC, at the northwest corner of North Country Road and Harding Street will be renovated to have 43 parking spots in front and behind the main building. Plans for the 3,800 square foot renovated structure are prohibited from including neon signage, and outdoor sales and storage in an effort to stay true to the residential nature of the area, according to recommendations by the planning board.

A number of residents view the new 7-Eleven as a major change from the old McCarrick’s Dairy, which they considered a small grocery store more so than a typical convenience store.

“A convenience store is something that is a grab-and-go,” Rocky Point resident Anita LoPiccolo said at the July 9 planning board meeting. “McCarrick’s was a family run, community supported business that encouraged community closeness.”

Charles Bevington, the president of the Rocky Point Civic Association, said he is concerned with how many convenience stores already existing in downtown Rocky Point. There are already two other 7-Elevens in the hamlet; one on the corner of Route 25A and Rocky Point Yaphank Road and another next to Westchester Drive.

“Rocky point is apparently drinking a lot of coffee,” Bevington said. “We will soon have 10 to 12 convenience stores in a matter of two miles.”

Kevin McCarrick, co-owner of McCarrick’s Dairy before it closed in 2017, said before they received an offer from 7-Eleven, they had been searching for another local business to take their place, but they could not find any potential buyers.

“We started out seeking those operators who had shops like ours, but unfortunately they are a dying off breed.”

— Kevin McCarrick

“We started out seeking those operators who had shops like ours, but unfortunately they are a dying off breed,” McCarrick said. “All kinds of stores sell all kinds of products now and it’s really diluting the product mix. It becomes very difficult to maintain margins.”

He said by not opening another shop similar to the old McCarrick’s, ultimately he was protecting the business of shops like Shop With Us in Shoreham and the Handy Pantry further down from McCarrick’s in Rocky Point.

“There is a difference between a 7-Eleven customer and a customer of those types of shops, and both those stores are doing better and will continue to do better with a 7-Eleven than even if we remained there,” McCarrick said. “It will probably do more business than our store used to do.”

Some residents were concerned about the safety and lighting at the location, citing the potential for crime and litter. McCarrick said the location already has two spotlights that light up the property as well as the adjoining residential park. The 7-Eleven will also have a 10- by 20-foot garbage enclosure and surrounding bushes and fences to prevent trash from blowing onto neighboring yards.

Some in the community are excited for the new 7-Eleven. Nancy Hoffman, a direct support professional at the Association for Habilitation and Residential Care Rocky Point residential group home facility located off Harding Street, said she and other workers at the home were looking forward to the opening of the new convenience store.

“We will be take some of the residents there, and it will just be more convenient,” Hoffman said.

McCarrick said they plan to start renovations on the store in about a month. Representatives from 7-Eleven said the location would be operated by corporate for an unspecified amount of time until they could find a person who would wish to franchise the store.

Nesconset Civic Association members protested outside the site of the proposed 7-Eleven March 31. Photo from Facebook

A proposed 7-Eleven on the southeast corner of Smithtown Boulevard and Nichols Road has a Nesconset civic group up in arms.

Nesconset Civic Association, a recently formed community organization, is fearful that construction of yet another 7-Eleven will negatively affect traffic safety in their neighborhood during rush hour, especially as there is already another one a short way down the road.

Civic members attended the Town of Smithtown board meeting April 10 to voice their opinions.

Bob Souto, a board member of the Nesconset Civic Association, said he and his group collected 400 signatures through an online petition from residents who opposed the proposed 2,500-square-foot convenience store. The site in question was formerly home to Capital One bank, across from Nesconset Christian Church.

“My neighbors don’t want this, are troubled by this, and say they didn’t vote for this,” Souto said. “Our roads are designed 50, 60 years ago. This new business doesn’t add more cars to road, but it does change traffic patterns. It causes safety, pollution and congestion issues.”

He also asked the board to call a moratorium on all new development in Nesconset.

It’s time to step back, moratorium’s a good word, and prepare a comprehensive master plan for all five hamlets.”
— Amy Fortunato

The project is being spearheaded by Bay Shore-based developer J. Nazarro Partnership. Nazarro could not be reached for comment before this publication’s press time.

“Historically, Smithtown’s town codes were written to protect the interests and investments of the Smithtown residents at the time of their codifications,” Nesconset resident Amy Fortunato said. “It’s time to step back, moratorium’s a good word, and prepare a comprehensive master plan for all five hamlets.”

Smithtown spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo said that in order for the town to declare a moratorium on development in Nesconset, it would have to institute a townwide building ban. However, the Town of Smithtown has several villages and hamlets, including Lake Grove, Nissequogue and Village of the Branch which would be free to make their own decisions.

Civic members also said they felt that the town board has too quickly allowed the development to go through the approval process.

You have tainted the process by prematurely coming to a conclusion and have left the town vulnerable to a legal challenge.”
— Marie Gruick

“You have tainted the process by prematurely coming to a conclusion and have left the town vulnerable to a legal challenge,“ said Marie Gruick, of Nesconset.

Garguilo said that the town’s hands are tied because the developers have the legal authority to build on the property. Town officials cannot deny a site plan solely based on its intended use. She said the town could be subject to an unwinnable lawsuit if they tried to halt it.

“If something is zoned where it requires no variance or exceptions or anything like that, by law the town has to approve it unless they are asking for a special exception or something it isn’t zoned for,” Garguilo said. “All that we would be left with is a big bill that comes out of taxpayers’ pockets.”

Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) said that the board will arrange for all of the traffic counts and accident studies to be made available to the residents who are concerned about traffic. He also said that the county still has to approve plans to create a new curb cut onto Smithtown Boulevard.

The Nesconset Civic Association, which is not associated with either the existing Nesconset-Sachem Civic Association or Nesconset Neighbors United, will be holding a meeting April 19 at 7 p.m. The location is the Nesconset branch of The Smithtown Library at 148 Smithtown Blvd.

A gas station and convenience store is proposed for the corner of Route 25A and Woodbine Avenue in Northport Village. Photo by Rohma Abbas

The entrance to Northport Village off of Route 25A could be in store for a face-lift.

Long considered an eyesore by some, the corner of Woodbine Avenue and Route 25A is the subject of a zoning board application for a gas station and convenience store.

Applicant Edward Clark, of Babylon, and his architect Harold Gebhard, of Lindenhurst, are seeking area and use variances to move forward with the plan, but the zoning board wants more information — particularly on traffic impacts — following a public hearing on the proposal last week.

Currently, a vacant white building that was once a gas station and auto repair shop sits on the property. The applicant is seeking to rehabilitate the current building, add a canopy, gas pumps, a convenience store and eight parking spaces. If approved, a maximum of six cars could gas up at a time. Clark said he’s been in discussions with BP to be the new gas station. 

The convenience store would sell soda, coffee, packaged foods, bread, milk and more, but there would be no food preparation on site, Clark said. He said he needs the convenience store to offset the cost of gas.

Zoning board members expressed some concern about the appearance of the project, especially the size of the convenience store and the height of a proposed canopy atop the gas pumps. Clark and Gebhard said from its peak to the ground the canopy would be about 18 feet high.

Zoning board member Arlene Handel said she was concerned about the height of the canopy obscuring a “historic entry point” to the village.

“It’s very much an important part of the character of the village,” she said. She added that a tall canopy “is really going to cut upon the view.”

ZBA Chairman Andrew Cangemi had a flurry of questions about the project that were mostly traffic-related. He wanted to know the number of cars the project is anticipated to generate during hours of operation and its peak hour volumes, and how the lighting would look.

Some residents in the audience expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal and questioned whether the community needed another gas station. But Cangemi pointed out that the site needs work and a gas station had already existed there.

“We understand something’s got to go in there,” Cangemi said.

Clark said he’s been trying to move forward with developing the site for several years and called the long process a “nightmare.”

“I’ve been paying rent, real estate taxes on this property for three years to get to this point now,” he said.

The public hearing will be held open until Sept. 16. Cangemi asked the applicant to come back with a traffic study.

7-Eleven is seeking to set up shop in Centerport. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

The Huntington Town Zoning Board of Appeals is pushing pause on considering a plan to build a 7-Eleven in Centerport and wants more information on the proposal’s potential traffic and environmental impacts.

The application, which was scheduled for a public hearing before the ZBA today, Thursday, July 30, has been taken off the agenda, according to Robert Riekert, deputy director of planning and environment for the town. The decision came after the town received an engineer’s analysis of the 7-Eleven proposal earlier this week, requesting the applicant, 7-Eleven Inc., respond to a list of issues.

“The meeting was adjourned until a further date due to insufficiencies in their application,” Riekert said in an email.

Plans for a 7-Eleven have been in the works for a few years now. The company had tried to establish a new 7-Eleven store two years ago — the ZBA even granted approval for the business in 2013 — however, the effort was shut down by a lawsuit filed by Huntington attorney Darrin Berger, who worked with residents and the Centerport Harbor Civic Association. According to Berger, both 7-Eleven and the town didn’t properly evaluate the project’s impacts under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, also known as SEQRA.

The New York State Supreme Court agreed that the environmental review was not conducted properly, so progress for the 7-Eleven halted.

7-Eleven is seeking to set up shop in Centerport. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
7-Eleven is seeking to set up shop in Centerport. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

If approved, the convenience store would be a one-story, freestanding market on a 21,553 square foot parcel. An existing automotive repair shop currently on that land would be demolished to make way for the business. The proposed public hearing was meant for the ZBA to review a request for a special use permit and area variance in order to demolish the auto repair shop.

Dunn Engineering Associates P.C., a town-appointed engineering firm that reviewed the applicant’s traffic analysis, requested that 7-Eleven re-evaluate several points in its application to build a store on the northeast corner of Route 25A and Little Neck Road. Their concerns predominately had to do with traffic safety issues. Dunn Engineering Associates sent their opinions on the proposal to Christopher Modelewski, chairman of the ZBA, this week.

According to a letter from Walter Dunn Jr., president of Dunn Engineering Associates, to Modelewski, the applicant should request accident data in the vicinity of the proposed 7-Eleven site along Route 25A, Little Neck Road and Centerport Road.

“This data should be analyzed to minimize the possibility of traffic safety concerns created due to the addition of the proposed 7-Eleven convenience store,” Dunn said.

Traffic safety issues also included sight distance. Dunn said the engineers performed a sight distance investigation and concluded that 7-Eleven’s traffic engineer should review and verify the adequacy of the two proposed access points and the engineer’s findings.

In a previous letter, the firm noted that Route 25A and Little Neck Road both have considerable horizontal and vertical curvature in vicinity of the proposed site. In order to make sure that the curvature wouldn’t have a detrimental impact on the operations of the proposed access points, sight distance was evaluated at both locations.

While the engineers’ study discovered that sight visibility was limited at a certain section, it was determined that, due to traffic signals, a car would not be going at a fast enough speed for this to be considered dangerous. “Therefore sight distance at this driveway location is considered accurate,” Dunn wrote

7-Eleven has proposed establishing new turning lanes at the intersection if they are approved, however, the letter urged that 7-Eleven redo their capacity analyses for the separate right and left turning lanes and through lanes. Dunn Engineering Associates said that 7-Eleven should reverse their proposal of a separate right turn lane, and a shared left turn/through lane for more successful traffic flow.

The applicant also submitted a proposal to widen the west side of Little Neck Road to provide a southbound approach to Route 25A. This would provide a separate left turn lane and a combined through/right turn lane. Dunn suggested that this proposal be added into the traffic impact study so the town could further examine this possibility.

A final suggestion engineers introduced involves the issue of delivery trucks coming in and out of the area to supply 7-Eleven.

Kenneth Barnes, regional development director for 7-Eleven, made a statement in an affidavit in May, according to Dunn Engineering Associates, that there would be a commitment to restrict the size and movements of delivery trucks.

It was suggested that this commitment be added into the traffic impact study along with a statement, so that the town’s previous concerns that larger sized trucks couldn’t safely maneuver through the site or entrance of the proposed 7-Eleven are mitigated.

Meanwhile, Centerport residents are continuing their fight against the possibility of a new 7-Eleven.

Gloria Wertheimer, president of the Centerport Harbor Civic Association, said last week her group feels the project would bring additional traffic to an already congested area and a busy intersection. They also feel that it does not fit in with Centerport at all, a small business, local community driven area.

“It doesn’t belong here, we feel it’s going to draw the wrong type of crowd,” Wertheimer said.

7-Eleven did not return multiple calls seeking comment this week.

File photo

A masked man robbed a 7-Eleven in Hauppauge early Monday morning, injuring the clerk on duty.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the masked suspect, who was also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sunglasses, entered the convenience store on Townline Road shortly before 2 a.m., displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash from the clerk. After the clerk complied, giving him cash from the drawer, the assailant fled on foot, heading west on Townline.

The clerk suffered a minor injury during the holdup, police said. He was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital and released.

Police described the robber as being about 6 feet tall and having a thin build.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8452, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

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