After a petition and public outcry doomed a similar proposal in Manhasset, residents of Port Washington are hoping to boot a proposed 7-Eleven from their area, with over 530 individuals signing a petition against the idea, citing traffic concerns.
The proposed convenience store would be located at 1020 Port Washington Blvd., a former Capital One Bank on the corner of Main Street and Port Boulevard, and an application was initially filed in October 2020, according to an April email update from Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte (D-Port Washington) to her constituents.
According to Dalimonte, the applicants are asking the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals for a conditional use permit to locate a retail food store in a Business-B zoning district, and for variances for insufficient parking stall size and rear yard setback regarding a dumpster.
Following an omission letter from the town in December, the applicants refiled in February, the councilwoman says, and received a disapproval letter from the Building Department later that month. Dalimonte then said that in March, her office received an email from the applicant’s attorney requesting a list of civic and neighborhood organizations with which to meet, and requested that they schedule Zoom meetings with the community.
Efforts to reach 7-Eleven for comment were unavailing.
The BZA application was filed in mid-April, and the final decision on the matter will lie with that board, rather than the North Hempstead town council. The board is not scheduled to discuss the matter at its June 2 meeting.
As of Wednesday morning, 538 people have signed the Care2 petition, entitled “Protect Port Washington From 7-11,” and presented by a group calling itself the Concerned Residents of Port Washington and Surrounding Areas. In the petition’s text, the group emphasizes traffic concerns .
“A 7-Eleven at 1020 Port Boulevard will increase traffic and introduce unsustainable volume to an already busy intersection in town,” the petition says. “It will force cars to divert and take side roads through our neighborhoods. Residents are already stressed by increasing cases of local traffic failing to abide by basic rules of the road (stopping at stop signs, observing speed limitations, yielding to pedestrians); any increased traffic further endangers our community – both pedestrians and drivers!”
Other signers of the petition echoed the sentiment in their signatures on the petition.
“A retail establishment like a 7-Eleven attracts continuous short stay vehicle traffic,” one commenter wrote. “The intersection of Port Washington Blvd. and Main Street currently has a high volume of pedestrian traffic including children going to and from school and town residents to and from the post office. A 7-Eleven is the wrong type of business for that location.”
“This would be a terrible and dangerous location at the business intersection in town,” another wrote. “We have plenty of convenience and grocery stores in town. A 7-11 is not needed and would not enhance Main Street.”
“The store is unnecessary and will create additional congestion at our busiest intersection,” a third commented. “The store does not fit in with the historical charm of Port Washington.”
Similar traffic concerns from Manhasset residents derailed a proposed 7-Eleven at 260 Plandome Road, and combined with over 1,500 signatures on a petition, led to that application being withdrawn in January.