SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – A 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station has been proposed for Cross River.
Located on the eastbound side of Route 35 at the intersection of North Salem Road, across the street from the existing Shell gas station, the 0.7-acre parcel is zoned for retail use.
The three-story office building and detached garage currently on the property would be demolished, according to plans.
A 3,043-square-foot 7-Eleven store with six gas pumps (12 fueling stations) would be built in its place. It would be accessible both from Route 35 and North Salem Road.
The plan would need to be approved by the Lewisboro Planning Board.
At the moment, gas stations are not held to any specific standards under the town of Lewisboro’s zoning code. However, the Lewisboro Town Board is currently reviewing an amendment that would regulate such facilities.
If and when the board approves such an amendment, it would fall on the Planning Board to issue the special-use permit. The plan also requires a town stormwater permit.
Town Supervisor Peter Parsons, speaking at the April 16 Planning Board meeting, said the law is being designed so that existing gas stations “didn’t need too much grandfathering.” A public hearing on the code amendment was scheduled for Monday evening, too late for inclusion in this paper.
Under the proposed amendment, the minimum lot size for gas stations would be 1 acre; 7-Eleven is leasing a 0.7-acre property.
If the amendment is approved, 7-Eleven may then need to apply to the Lewisboro Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance.
Representatives of 7-Eleven said the company would not be interested in opening a convenience store in Cross River if a gas station was not allowed. Because of the uncertainty surrounding gas stations, 7-Eleven was cautioned by Planning Board members to proceed at its own risk.
Members also expressed some concern with the project, particularly in terms of traffic.
“That’s a very congested area of town, particularly in the mornings, and has been getting progressively worse over the last number of years as Connecticut commuters go through that area in the morning,” said Planning Board member Greg LaSorsa at the April 16 meeting.
LaSorsa said motorists making left-hand turns into the property from Route 35 could cause even more congestion.
Zachary Chaplin, an engineer for 7-Eleven, said a restriction on left-hand turns is being considered. Chaplin added that a high percentage of gas station and convenience store motorists come from “pass-by traffic,” meaning it would not add a lot of new cars to the road.
The Planning Board, however, has asked 7-Eleven to submit a full traffic report for review, taking into consideration the actual traffic situations in Cross River.
Other things being considered are the addition of pedestrian crosswalks to Route 35 and North Salem Road.
7-Eleven would need to clear several other regulatory hurdles before it can open, including other variances from the Lewisboro Zoning Board of Appeals for lot coverage, setbacks, and landscape buffer.
Before all is said and done, the plan would be reviewed by Lewisboro’s highway superintendent, the New York State Department of Transportation, the Lewisboro Architecture and Community Appearance Review Council, the Westchester County Department of Health, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Lewisboro Conservation Advisory Council, the Westchester County Planning Board, and the South Salem Fire Department, some of which would need to issue permits or grant approvals.