Without a conducted traffic study, Islip Planning Board says necessary information to address residents’ concerns about the intersection was not available
The Sunrise Highway South Service Road/Commack Road intersection in Islip was described as a “traffic nightmare” by nearby residents at Thursday’s Islip Town Planning Board meeting. Islip residents living on Commack Road, Grant Street, Wallace Street and other nearby roads expressed their concerns for a six-island, 12-pump, 24-hour gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection.
Businessowner John Selle is the applicant pursuing a zone change on the parcel from Residence B to Business 3 as well as a town board special permit in order to construct a gas station and convenience store where the closed Sonrise Automotive currently stands.
The engineering firm hired to conduct the traffic study decided to delay the process, as conducting the study on dates after Sept. 5 will reflect peak traffic more accurately. Wayne Muller, representing Robinson and Muller Engineers, said he does not anticipate a considerable increase in traffic at the intersection.
“The bulk of the traffic generated by these types of facilities already exists within the traffic stream that would be passing the site in the eastbound and southbound directions,” Muller said.
However, with the applicant entering the hearing minus a traffic study, planning board chairman Edward Friedland said a decision cannot be reached since a significant portion of the residents’ and Friedland’s concerns are relevant to traffic.
“I would recommend leaving the public hearing open so that those residents in the community who are here can actually hear the results of the traffic study and can ask questions at the public hearing,” Friedland said.
Atop the absence of a traffic study, the site plan must be slightly reworked: the buffer requirement of 25 feet of the property (as opposed to state- and town-owned land) is not met on the south end — short by just under 10 feet.
An attorney at law representing the applicant presented a site plan and renderings to the board. Additionally, truck-turning templates for the turn off of the service road into the parking lot were passed on to the board.
“The truck can make the swing to fuel at the station, then come around the canopy and exit back onto Sunrise Highway,” said G. William Germano of Germano and Cahill, P.C., adding assurance that oversized vehicles would not be exiting onto the truck-restricted stretch of Commack Road.
There is a right-in, right-out only on the service road as well as exiting onto Commack Road, as illustrated on the site plan. Germano said that this would be a directional gas station, as their target customers would either be traveling east or south.
Germano said the applicant has not filed yet for a subsequent hearing but will in coming days. n