Running out to the store to purchase a quick gallon of milk or a pack of cigarettes in Cutchogue is now easier with the addition of a second convenience store at the Valero gas station.
The Valero store went before the Southold Town planning board for final inspection review last week
The Valero Service Station, located on the northwest corner of Main Road and Depot Lane in Cutchogue, has been before the board to convert an existing automotive repair shop to a 1,206 square foot convenience store in the hamlet business zone. An approved site plan already exists; the matter before the board involves the applicants’ request for final inspection. Last week’s action involved review of a recent site inspection.
After a visit to the site by planning staff, it was noted that certain items need to be finished. The canopy is not completed, with part of it still visible in black tile and the addition of cedar shake shinges is still necessary. The goal is for the roof to match the canopy, as is the case with similar Valero operations around Long Island.
Southold Town Planning Director Heather Lanza said cedar looking shingles are readily available and should not be hard to find. Plantings along the back of the property near the fence still need to be finished. All the other plantings are in, with the exception of a tree that was taken out of the initial plan.
Another issue on the table is the portable sandwich signs on the property. Planning staff said the signs could pose a safety issue in high winds. The recommendation of the board was that those signs be removed.
According to the report everything else on site is in place, including a one way sign and striping.
The board discussed noticeable improvements on the parcel, including a white picket fence, which they agreed is much more visually pleasing than what had been in place in the past. In addition, the site has been cleaned out and looks spruced up, they said.
After the meeting Cutchogue resident Benja Schwartz said the new convenience store has been, on the whole, favorably received by the community.
“I don’t think there’s been any real opposition to the store,” he said.
There are some questions regarding whether or not Cutchogue needed a second convenience store right next door to . Shwartz said in the past individuals would park at the gas station and “run next door to 7-Eleven” to meet their convenience store needs.
“So who’s to say Valero shouldn’t have a convenience store of their own?” Schwarz asked.
Many Cutchogue residents carefully watch any development in the Cutchogue hamlet center. Any type of development in Cutchogue raises concerns regarding traffic, Schwartz said.
“The whole traffic issue there has been a little dicey,” he said. "There have been a couple of very bad accidents downtown in the hamlet of Cutchogue.”
One individual died after being hit by a car in the busy corridor. Traffic issues were a critical component of hamlet stakeholder studies conducted when former Southold Town Supervisor Josh Horton was at the helm, he added.
Next steps for the project include ensuring the canopy has been completed as required by the architectural review committee, with a final report drafted to state plantings will be finished in April.