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Hess Gas Station Lawsuit Cancels Public Hearing on Town Code

Smithtown officials forced to table public hearing on changes to the town's building code for convenience stories due to pending litigation.

A lawsuit over a Commack gas station has forced Smithtown Town officials to indefinitely postpone changes to town's building code. 

Smithtown town board members voted unanimously Tuesday to table a public hearing on a proposed amendment to town code that would change the limitations on convenience stores based on property zoning and size. 

The public hearing would have interfered with pending litigation against Smithtown Town Board over its approval of a zoning change for a 12-pump Express Hess gas station to be built on the corner of Harned Road and Jericho Turnpike. The plans were approved by 3-2 vote on March 22. 

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 12, cites the plaintiff party as Gasoline Heaven of Commack versus Smithtown Town Board, according to WebCivil Supreme. 

"Some residents that live back behind the area and some of the local businesses have joined together to file a lawsuit against Town of Smittown asking an independent party to review the decision that the three town board members made," said Rudy Massa, owner of Gasoline Heaven. 

At a public hearing held Feb. 23, that a large gas station on the intersection of Harned Road and Jericho Turnpike would increase traffic on an already busy intersection. 

Hess Gas Corporation is scheduled to appear before Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals about their application for special exceptions to build a 1,231-square-foot convenience store and increase its signage on Sept. 11.

The public hearing on changes to the town's building ordiance on special exception uses, to change the parameters for building convenience stores, has not been rescheduled. 

"The town board decided not to pass the town code change as it refers to convenience stores. What it would really do is take the people’s day in court away from them," Massa said. 

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knee jerk September 12, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I agree with Bill11725, 18 variances for a gas station/convienience store? We need another fast food hamburger joint so we can have more choices, say an In & Out Burger or a Checkers. But I suppose Friendly's will then join in with the "area residents", dropping Rudy Massa from the lawsuit.
Allen September 12, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Dont buy gas at gasoline heaven because of this lawsuit. That is capitalism, showing the greedy guy (Rudy Massa) that he cant waste tax payer dollars that must now be spent defending his frivolous lawsuit against the town. Buy your gas at Bobs and Hess right down the road, then maybe Rudy will sue you for driving by and not buying his gas.
Margelott September 13, 2012 at 02:44 AM
You're right. I wont buy gas at Gasoline Heaven ever again!! I will go to HESS. Rudy is only trying to line his pockets and now is costing us more money by suing our town.
Darrell Knight September 14, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I have been reading the patch for about a year or so now and I am ashamed of the people living in this community. The things that people write about other people are just disgusting! I have been doing some research into the people that have been making posts on this subject as well as others, and I see a pattern here. Why is it that the people with the most mean spirited posts are the same people that have never written or commented on anything on The Patch ever before? I mean Mike Hunt? Real genius name there! First timer on The Patch for him as well as Margelott, Allen, workinforalivin, TTT, FedUp, Hank, LVL, Steve, as well as other stories where all the inappropriate things that are being said are only from people making one or two posts on the same topic and then are never to be heard of again! It's obvious to me that most of these degrading untrue posts are probably from 1 or 2 of the same people using different log in names! So while The Patch is making the community believe that a lot of people feel a certain way, it is actually not the case. It is the same low life people repeating themselves. I guess to these hateful people with "imaginary Friends" it must make them feel better. I say shame on Sarah Walsh and The Patch. I think The patch had much better story content without Sarah Walsh. It's a shame that she just can't create a piece worth reading.
LVL September 16, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Curious that you are a first timer, maybe you are Rudy Massa using a different log in name trying to save face using an alias because of your dastardly deeds? This is a great story about greed and using the legal system to feed your greed and try and stomp out the competition.

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