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Special use permit for gas station approved

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A special use permit was approved by the Livingston Planning Board on Wednesday for an Alltown Fresh Cafe at the intersection of Routes 9, 9H and 82.
October 3, 2019 04:51 pm

LIVINGSTON — The town is on its way to getting a new gas station.

The Livingston Planning Board approved a special use permit for Global Partners at the northern end of the intersection of Routes 9, 9H, and 82 for the new facility at Wednesday’s meeting of at the Town Hall, 119 County Route 19.

The gas station proposal by Global Partners consolidates three parcels to create a 3.08-acre lot to accommodate a 24-hour gas station, convenience store and an Alltown Fresh Cafe.

At 4,800 square feet, the proposed combination of a convenience store, cafe and gas station will sit across the intersection from the Xtra Mart, which is also owned by Global Partners and is home to the Bell’s Pond Diner.

Planning board members approved the permit. Planning Board Chairman Phil Schmidt recused himself early in the review process and board member James McFarland was absent.

Both the Xtra Mart, 2224 Route 9, and Bell’s Pond Diner will close their doors and be put up for sale. A condition of the sale for the Xtra Mart by Global Partners will prohibit another gas station at the site. Global Partners agreed to remove the tanks underneath the site before the sale of the property. The business must be decommissioned as a gas station in accordance with state Department of Environmental Conservation standards within six months of the opening of the Alltown Fresh Cafe as part of a deal with the planning board.

Despite months of opposition from some members of the public, there was no vocal protest of the decision made during the meeting. There was no discussion by the board before the decision was made.

Planning Board Attorney Ted Hilscher read a summary of the process leading to the decision, including the environmental review that was conducted on the site. The gas station was found to be “consistent with community plans,” Hilscher said.

“All reports and plans were approved by the town engineer after extensive review and request for plan revisions,” Hilscher said.

The applicant submitted a full long-form environmental assessment at the request of the public in May. The planning board issued a negative declaration, meaning the project would not produce any known environmental impacts that would prohibit its construction.

“The planning board concludes the proposed action will not result in significant adverse environmental impact to ground water and surface water,” Hilscher said.

On Aug. 13, a wetland assessment was completed at the site by Ecological Solutions LLC. The state Department of Environmental Conservation concluded the site was not on a wetland, Hilscher said.

Underground, double-walled and insulated gas tanks will be installed in accordance with DEC, Hilscher said. Some residents expressed concern about what a possible leakage from the tanks would have on the adjacent freshwater wetland and underground aquifer.

“The aquifer will be better protected by the latest engineering techniques and state regulations due used in the new gas filling stations than by the continued use of 30-year-old gas station on the southern side of the intersection,” Hilscher said.

As part of a condition by the town planning board, the new gas station will not be allowed to be used as a truck stop, and tractor-trailers will not be permitted to idle for more than five minutes in accordance with state law.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.