May 2, 2019 | Save Craryville Letter presented to the Copake Planning Board - Attorney David K. Gordon
David K. Gordon
Attorney and Counselor at Law
42 Catherine Street, Suite C-106
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
May 2, 2019
Hon. Robert Haight, Chairman Town of Copake Planning Board 230 Mt. View Road
Copake, New York 12516
Re: GRJH Gas Station Proposal
Dear Mr. Haight and Members of the Planning Board:
This office represents the citizens group Save Craryville. We write to further comment on the number of fueling positions allowed at the proposed facility.
Since its beginnings the GRJH proposal has been limited to six fueling positions, arranged in three islands with a fueling position on either side of each island. The proposal of six fueling positions formed the basis of the Zoning Board of Appeals’ SEQRA Negative Declaration and its award of a special use permit for the project.
At the April 4, 2019 Planning Board meeting, Chairman Haight commented that the project is allowed to have six “dispensers” for the gasoline. Since the term “dispenser” (as well as “pump”) can be ambiguous, we write to confirm that a maximum of six fueling positions is allowed. This means six places for vehicles to park and fill their tanks, not pumps.
This limitation is consistent with guidance in the Department of Environmental Conservation SEQRA Handbook, which allows up to approximately seven fueling positions beneath which significant traffic impacts would be unlikely.
This was exactly the limitation discussed at the Planning Board’s December 6, 2018 meeting. The applicant had first submitted a site plan showing 12 fueling positions to the Planning Board. According to the minutes of that meeting, Chairman Haight explained to the applicant that “SEQRA only had a total of six or seven [6-7] pumps and traffic study referred to twelve (12). Mr. Haight also clarified that they were referred to as fueling positions.” The applicant responded that it “had no problem with the total being reduced if need be,” whereupon “Mr. Haight acknowledged that as long as there are only six (6) nozzles they can be placed however the applicant wished.”
When the applicant submitted new plans on December 21, 2018, they showed smaller fueling islands and the labeling “6 spaces.” This appears to conform to the original proposal of 6 fueling positions.
It is critical to ensure accuracy in the number of fueling positions, because an exceedance will result in traffic projections far greater than contemplated in the SEQRA review and also will result in a renewed implication to the public of a regionally oriented travel center rather than a local facility.
If any approvals are issued for this project, the Board must limit the project to six fueling positions and should attach an explicit condition or place a clear specification on the plan with that limitation.
Thank you for your consideration.