North Main Challenge

 Empire Gas property on North Main Street in East Hampton
A convenience store at the Empire Gas property on North Main Street in East Hampton will bring more traffic snarl to an already busy spot, opponents of a development plan there have said. Morgan McGivern

    The East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals will hear an application on Tuesday night at 7 to challenge a decision that will allow a convenience store at 148 North Main Street, East Hampton, next door to an existing Empire gas station.
    Tom Preiato, senior building inspector, determined that the buildings there are pre-existing and nonconforming, and therefore granted a certificate of occupancy. Retail establishments have historically used the buildings.
    The owners of the property, Ali Yuzbasioglu and S&A Petroleum Group Inc., want to build and open a store on a plot where an automobile-rental  agency once stood. There is a small beauty shop there now.
    In a letter to the Z.B.A., Jeffrey Slonim, the applicant, who lives at 152 North Main Street with his family, said, “There is a code in East Hampton that expressly prohibits having a business that sells food and beverage next to a filing station.” Noting that the certificate of occupancy states the buildings predate the zoning code, Mr. Slonim said it was “the use of those buildings that must predate the code, not the buildings themselves. And neither food nor beverage has ever been sold at that site.”
    Mr. Slonim also expressed concern in his letter over the increase of traffic and parking difficulties that the proposed store could cause. He referenced the recent North Main Street traffic study that concluded that no businesses should be allowed to expand here. “Traffic is already terrible on North Main. Parking, nil,” he said.