The site of demolished gas station on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley got a step closer to seeing fill-ups happen there once again Thursday.
The Brookhaven Town Council unanimously approved at its board meeting special permits for a fueling station and convenience store and waivers of a special permit criteria on property located on the northwest corner of William Floyd Parkway between Ostend Circle and Essex Circle.
But not before six local business owners and residents spoke out against the proposal, saying it would increase traffic and accidents in an already congested area, drain business from nearby mom-and-pop shops and potentially draw crime.
“I’m totally against this,” Ghulam Sarwar, owner of a 15,000-square-foot shopping center adjacent to the proposed gas station, said during a public hearing before the vote. “I don’t go any against business, but I’m against this.” He said the location was too small to accommodate tractor-trailer delivery trucks, making the intersection susceptible to accidents.
“This is a disaster,” Sarwar said.
Councilman Dan Panico disagreed, pointing out that the location already operated as a gas station.
“I grew up in the area. I’ll tell you that when it was open, this was the only gas station on the southbound side of William Floyd Parkway. This place was a very busy,” with customers using it on their way to the county’s busiest beach: Smith Point.
Supervisor Ed Romaine added that it was the only gas station on the west side of William Floyd Parkway “from Route 25A to the ocean.”
Instead of a 3,800-square-foot building like before, it’s going to be a 1,500-square-foot convenience store, with 250 feet of office space above it, Panico said. He noted that the property’s owner, Atilla Akcay, demolished the property at the town’s request prior to getting any approvals to build a new station.
“He put his best foot forward and took a risk,” Panico said. “I’ve found him to be truthful, honest and forthright in his intent.”
Still, Mark Burks, who lives nearby on Tudor Road, said after the vote that he would prefer a convenience store — something he would feel more comfortable having his children walking to.
“I just can’t see it,” he said of a gas station.
The town council approval means the proposal now moves on to the planning board’s review.
Akcay said he was pleased with the council’s decision.
“It used to be a gas station. It’s going to be a gas station again.”