Residents living near the vacant Getty gas station at the corner of Udall Rd. and Muncey Rd. were out Thursday night again voicing their opposition to a proposed 7-Eleven on the property.
The owners of the location — Jon Halperin, Peter Halperin and Stephen Halperin — and their attorney, West Islip resident Eliot Bloom, held the meeting to obtain community reaction and input about having a 24-hour convenience store on the parcel that now houses a shuttered auto repair station.
The meeting, held under two white banquet-style tents after sunset with a light mist falling, attracted approximately 75 residents, with most voicing their opposition to the idea of constructing a 7-Eleven on the property.
Thursday’s meeting was the second time the proposal was met with a great deal of resistance from local residents. In May 2009, the Halperins first proposed constructing a convenience store on the property that for years was home to a Getty gas station and auto repair shop.
Presented at a meeting of the Islip Town Zoning Board of Appeals, hundreds of West Islip residents living near the location packed the second floor public meeting room at Town Hall, with an overwhelming majority voicing their opposition.
At Thursday’s meeting, Maria Koprowski, a Norma Ave. resident, summed up the feeling for many who are opposed to the idea. “I don’t like the fact that the store would be open 24 hours a day,” she said. “I also feel the store would add more traffic to the area.”
Throughout the hour-long meeting, Bloom and the Halperins spoke with local residents in an attempt to address concerns and gauge what type of business they would welcome on the site.
In speaking to the crowd gathered, Bloom asked if having some-type of convenience store that was not open 24-hours would be acceptable. That idea received a mixed reaction.
While the Halperins did not address the crowd as a whole, they did present those in attendance with a letter outlining their position. The property has been vacant since the gas station and repair station closed in April 2010.
“Since we only own the property and don’t operate the business, we have been searching for a new tenant,” the letter said. “Needless to say, since [April 2010] we have had no income to pay the over $17,173 [a] year taxes on the property.”
Some residents also asked if the Halperins have thought of selling the property, but Bloom said that is not an option given the current depressed real estate market.
Following the meeting, it was not immediately clear what next step the Halperins would take with the property.