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Thursday, October 23, 2014
Residents contest reopening of gas station
By Emily Webb
Howard Schwach/Herald
The Hempstead town board is still considering two applications to reopen the Malverne Park gas station by Snuggle Ventures Inc. — which wants to rezone the property and install four new gasoline storage tanks — while waiting for further testimony.

At a hearing on May 21, Malverne Park residents asked the Town of Hempstead to reject two applications to reopen a gas station at the intersection of Hempstead and Morris avenues, at what those residents consider to be a poorly managed site that has been the object of many complaints in recent years.

The station, in Malverne Park, an unincorporated area outside the village of Malverne, has been used solely for mechanical repairs since February.

The board first discussed an application from Snuggle Ventures Inc., the gas station owner, for a zoning change of the property. The second application requests a permit to replace the station’s gas pumps with four new storage tanks, each with a capacity of 22,000 gallons.

The gas station — which first opened in 1925, predating local zoning codes — has been nonoperational since February, with gas tanks that were last replaced 30 years ago, though its repair shop remains open.

Despite the proposal to replenish the gas station, six residents from Malverne Park approached the town board to express their concerns about reopening the previously ill-maintained property.

In a written statement submitted to the board, Howard Frauenberger, 66, a resident of Atlas Avenue for nine years who could not attend the hearing, outlined a list of grievances involving the station. It had prolonged hours of operation, Frauenberger wrote, staying open until 11 .m. every night — in contrast to its initial closing time of between 6 and 7 p.m. on weekdays and earlier on Sundays — to the point where neighbors were disturbed late at night. Its location at the intersection, between Hempstead and Ocean avenues, two heavily traveled roads, also posed traffic problems, with near-accidents and numerous noise and safety violations.

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