Business owner Krishnan Patel and his new neighbors on Central Highway have come to an agreement on his plans to convert the former Riggio’s Deli to a Sainsbury Convenience Store on Thursday evening, Feb. 25.
Patel purchased the storefront and plans to make several improvements, including adding 1,600 feet to the existing building and reducing parking spaces. His neighbors on Anton Court called into the Planning Board’s ZOOM session held Jan. 25, expressing concerns about the store’s proposed hours –5:00AM-11:00PM as well as concerns about noise and lighting. Patel agreed to meet with homeowners, and at the Feb. 25 meeting, he and his attorney appeared to let planners know those concerns had been resolved.
Patel agreed to plant trees on neighbors’ property on either sides of the store to shield them from any lighting or traffic. He plans to enclose the entire property, save for the street frontage, with six-foot privacy fencing, while telling one neighbor the wooden fence that now separates the future convenience store from the property could be left in place, and that the new privacy fencing would be installed in front of it. Its HVAC system will have the same capacity as a single-family home, so no unusual noises will disrupt neighboring houses. The hours of operation are allowable under the property’s designation, but Patel’s attorney told the Board neighbors felt more comfortable now that trees Patel will plant will offer a buffer between their properties and the store. Chairman Tom Gubitosa thanked Patel and the neighbors for working together to come to an agreement, and the Board gave final approval to the project.
Planners also discussed the Town Board’s recent proposal to change current zoning amendments within Stony Point’s borders. The purpose of the changes to the current zoning is gauged to preserve its rural and suburban character while enacting changes that fit RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) guidelines; the 1991 Federal law allows for certain permitted uses for schools, childcare centers and dormitories but also recognizes the right to quiet enjoyment of residential neighborhoods. Local authorities in many jurisdictions are studying similar changes to their own zoning codes. The Stony Point Planning Board noted any special use permits granted should be reviewed and renewed periodically to avoid any abuse; its written recommendations will be sent back to the Town Board for review.
Photo: A new convenience store for this Central Highway site was recently approved by the Stony Point Planning Board (photo: Kathy Kahn)