The Northern Westchester Examiner

Residents Rip Proposed Gas Station/Store on Rt. 6 in Cortlandt

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Several nearby residents ripped a proposed gas station and convenience store on Route 6 in Cortlandt during a public hearing last week.

Gas Land Petroleum Inc. is looking to construct six gas pumps on the one-acre site that formerly housed The Hummingbird restaurant and is parallel to the exit/entrance ramp to the Bear Mountain Parkway.

The applicant is seeking not only site development plan removal, but also a special permit and tree removal and wetland permits from the Cortlandt Planning Board, which conduced a site inspection in June.

John Didio, a 58-year resident of Parkway Drive, said traffic conditions on Route 6 are already horrendous and allowing a gas station in that location could cost someone their life.

“I see this being a disaster,” Didio asserted. “There is so much traffic there that I don’t even know why this is a consideration. I don’t know who is going to want to go there and risk their life. Every business that has been there went out of business. They went out of business because it’s a terrible location!”

“It’s not a gas station that’s a problem. It’s the traffic that type of business will cause,” said Rita Sloan, also a longtime Parkway Drive resident. “The traffic is horrendous. Some traffic remedies being proposed don’t necessarily help. I haven’t heard anything that it will help Route 6.”

David Steinmetz, attorney for Gas Land, acknowledged the traffic concerns residents have expressed about the 24-hour project but insisted realigning the existing traffic signal, adding a turning lane and other improvements would be beneficial.

“We believe this is a benefit to Route 6 and an improvement to the corridor,” Steinmetz said. “We’re quite mindful that traffic circulation is obviously a concern to the neighbors and the community.”

Former Cortlandt Councilman and Planning Board Chairman John Sloan, who resides on Parkway Drive, maintained the project doesn’t benefit the town or its citizens, suggesting the site is better suited to house a “low impact” business.

“This is simply the wrong project at the wrong place,” he said. “This is probably the most problematic intersection in the town that you can come up with.”

Gas Land representatives have already met with the state Department of Transportation to discuss traffic flow on the property, which is zoned H-C (Highway Commercial). Steinmetz noted the project has been endorsed by the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce and the Montrose Business Improvement District.

Meanwhile, Steinmentz contended the project was being actively opposed by “gas cartels” who were trying to keep out competition.

“Location, location, location. It’s a problem,” said planner Bob Foley before the Planning Board adjourned the hearing to its October 10 meeting.

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