Proposed new gas station causes stir

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TOWN OF WAPPINGER – A proposal for a new gas station in the hamlet of Hughsonville is being met with considerable resistance from residents and other business owners in town.  

Gas Land Petroleum is attempting to construct a gas station with a 2,600 square foot convenience store, 1,200 square foot retail store, and four one-bedroom apartments at the intersection of Route 9D and New Hamburg Road.  Gas Land operates more than 100 gas stations in the Hudson Valley.

Gas Land Vice-president Zeidan Nesheiwat said that the plan calls for the mixed-use structure to be developed on a 1.8-acre parcel on the northwest side of the intersection of Route 9D and New Hamburg Road.  

Opponents of the plan have hired the town’s former law firm of Stenger, Diamond, and Glass in an attempt to thwart the proposal.  Attorney Ken Stenger said he represents businesses and residents that seek to maintain the historic setting of the Hughsonville hamlet, noting that the town has deemed the area a “historic district.”  He added the application, as proposed “would undermine the character of the hamlet of Hughsonville.”

According to Gas Land, the proposed gasoline pumps and canopy will take a secondary position and the parking will be located in the rear interlaced with extensive landscaping. The proposed building will incorporate local architectural style with clapboard siding, gable roof, dormers, and stone.

Town Councilman William Beale has represented the area for the last 15years, shares many of the concerns of residents who have been outspoken against this project. “Hughsonville has been my life in one way, shape, or form for almost 40 years. It is imperative to me that we preserve the character and integrity of our historic hamlet. I am not convinced that this project, in its current form, satisfies this vision”.” 

The Town of Wappinger Democratic Committee issued a statement on social media, denouncing the plan.  “A petroleum leak would be an environmental disaster in this residential area with shallow wells,” said the statement. The committee also claimed in the post that “Gas Land Petroleum still has not cleaned up their petroleum leak in Saugerties, 2017 despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from the DEC.” Nesheiwat called that claim a lie. “The gas station that had the spill in Saugerties does not belong to us. We are the petroleum supplier for the station – nothing more.” He pointed out that Gas Land has not been liable for the spill.

Arguing the need for the project to be approved, Nesheiwat said, “The biggest benefit for the town is the plan to extend town water infrastructure from New Hamburg Road to Marlorville Road, with an easement dedicated to the town. The contemplated water main extension will be a catalyst for the town in their desire to provide municipal water for their residences along Marlorville Road.”

The project is still before the town’s planning board and a recent presentation of the plans can be viewed here.