Progress on Harbor Heights

With a modified lighting plan and traffic study, the Harbor Heights proposed convenience store and renovation
With a modified lighting plan and traffic study, the Harbor Heights proposed convenience store and renovation may move closer to reality at Tuesday’s planning board meeting. Carrie Ann Salvi

    The Sag Harbor Village Planning Board may hand down a decision involving Harbor Heights, the Hampton road service station that wants to add a convenience store, on Tuesday at its 5:30 meeting, after evaluating the project through State Environmental Quality Review Act guidelines. The board may be ready to declare a negative SEQRA evaluation, having in hand a new traffic study and modified lighting and landscaping plans.
    The original traffic report was unacceptable, as it analyzed the property as a convenience store only, rather than a gas station with a store as a subordinate use.
    Stonefield Engineering and Design, which did the second study, monitored the road for two weeks in July, including the July 4 holiday, and found about 16,000 vehicles on the road on a typical Tuesday-through-Thursday  weekday over a 24-hour period, distributed evenly in both directions. That is twice the average of off-season traffic, said Larry Perrine, a board member, at the board’s August meeting, referring to the original traffic study.
    According to current calculations, there are 54 vehicles stopping at the station during weekday morning peak hours, 61 at midday, and 50 during peak evening hours, with a noticeable increase on Saturdays.
    The planning board was also concerned about minimizing the impact of lighting on nearby properties while still providing safe access. The new lighting plan eliminates free-standing light poles, cuts in half the number of fixtures under the fueling canopy, and reduces the intensity of bulbs used to the lowest available.
    A new rendering shows 50- to 80-foot eastern white pines and 35- to 60-foot leyland cypresses, proposed as a double row to surround the “country market” style store and service station.
    The public hearing will be left open to further comment. A final decision may be made at the board’s October meeting.