A public hearing on controversial plans to erect a 2,600 square foot 7-Eleven in place of at Waterside and 25A in Northport continues before the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals at Town Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The proposed 7-Eleven plan would turn more than half of the current Nocello's site from a "sea of asphalt" into a "green belt," according to 7-Eleven's representatives, and the building would be reduced to half its current size to comply with the town's new zoning regulations adopted in June. The Town is Eleven for these new regulations, which the company claims unfairly inhibit their ability to build a store.
ZBA Chairman Christopher Modelewski presented by 7-Eleven at the last hearing in November, in which 7-Eleven argued that there would be minimal impact on current traffic patterns. Modelewski requested that 7-Eleven incorporate data from actual observations of convenience store traffic in the area, rather than data from "Kansas, Troy, New York, and Albuquerque." The ZBA also requested that the corporation look further into traffic impacts during weekend and school hours, noting nearby schools and access challenges from the east. "We have some serious concerns about safety and the overall design of the site," Modelewski said at the time.
Northport-East Northport School Board President Stephen Waldenburg has been putting the word out about the meeting to PTSA groups and many residents echo the concern that a 7-Eleven would bring increased traffic at an intersection used by walkers from , though a crossing guard is currently stationed at that intersection.
Residents who oppose the 7-Eleven also argue that there is an existing 7-Eleven a mile away and two others in the immediate area, and cite the historic significance of the Nocello's property as a gateway to the village. Proponents have responded by suggesting that a new 7-Eleven at Waterside may encourage the others in the area to "clean up their act and update the outside."