A recap was held of current events surrounding the Citgo station for members, who were informed of the results of the recent joint North Bellmore/North and Central Merrick Civic meeting where Kevin O’Brien, the lawyer representing the owners of the Citgo station, spoke to residents in an attempt to find compromises regarding the controversial renovation plan for the station.
“A lot of people didn’t know what was going on, so we brought them up to speed on a lot of the issues,” Civic Association Vice President Stu Weinstein said. “So we told them about the plans to open a 24-hour convenience store, the additional parking, the new driveway around the back of the building, the intrusive lighting, the anticipated increase in noise and traffic in what is an already dangerous intersection and so on.”
Weinstein said that the North Bellmore Civic Association has had recent contact from O’Brien in the form of a letter outlining various changes to the planned renovations to the Citgo station, which are based on the demands of its neighboring residents. Among the points covered in O’Brien regarding the proposed changes to the Citgo renovation plan include:
- Revising the landscaping and installing automatic sprinklers
- Eliminating a illuminated canopy sign
- No sales of any illicit materials or paraphernalia
- No display of non-permitted tobacco or alcohol signs
- New fencing; removing the current operators of the gas station
- All lighting will be shields so as to not stray beyond the station’s property
- No truck deliveries after 10 p.m.
- Reduced hours of operation, cut from 24 hours to 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
“Those hours are still not acceptable,” he said. “I discussed it at our meeting, and the minimum acceptable hours would be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.”
Weinstein indicated that he still needed to communicate the Citgo plan changes to his members and confirm that they meet with their approval. Another issue covered at the meeting concerned illegitimate clothing drop-off boxes in the Bellmore area.
“We seem to have them popping up all over the place like measles lately,” he said. “People drop these boxes off without permits, with little regard for the community, and we have to call up the Town of Hempstead and have them do something about it each time.”
Weinstein explained that these drop-off boxes are typically made of wood; when it rains, they saturate with water, causing them to fall apart, which spreads clothing and debris over the area they are situated in.
“The Town passed a new law,” he said. “You have to go down and get a permit for these boxes. You get a sticker where you have to place your name, address, and phone number, and that sticker has to go on your box.”
According to Weinstein, many of these clothing drop-off boxes are, in reality, for-profit entities masquerading as charities who actually gather clothing under false pretenses to sell.
What do you think of these issues? Tell us in the comments below.