WILMINGTON - Members of the Wilmington Planning Board will review the Little Super Market owners' proposal to install gas pumps during their meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8 in the Wilmington Community Center.
The meeting comes two weeks after a public hearing was held on the project. If approved, Little Super Market owners Roy and Becky Holzer would be operating the only gas pumps in town, as the Wilson Farms convenience store closed in the spring of 2013, leaving the hamlet dry of gasoline. While the prospect of having gas pumps in town has many residents cheering the Holzers, some neighbors weren't as optimistic during the public hearing, according to Planning Board Chairman Bob Peters.
"There were a couple of people there who were against it," Peters said. "It's the NIMBY syndrome, not in my back yard, which I certainly understand. There were two or three negative comments and three or four positive comments."
The Little Super Market in Wilmington
(News photo — Andy Flynn)
Peters said that some neighbors across the street expressed concern that the new gas station would negatively affect property values.
"However, that whole area over the years has been a commercial area," Peters said, adding that the land is zoned for commercial activity. "In reality, the property across from the Little Super Market was a gas station at one time."
Holzer is expected to present new information and updated drawings for the project, according to Peters. Given the nature of the proposal and the concerns of some residents, the Planning Board will listen to public comments, even though it is not required.
It is possible that the Planning Board will make a decision on the plan during the Sept. 8 meeting, according to Peters. The Planning Board is the lead agency, and there is no requirement for Adirondack Park Agency approval. The board has 62 days after the public hearing to make a decision.
On Aug. 18, the Holzers signed loan papers for the gas pumps, and they plan on investing about $500,000 in the project.
The closest gas station to Wilmington is Devin's Garage in the hamlet of Jay, 5 miles up the road, and many people have been getting their gas in the village of Lake Placid, about 12 miles away.
Roy, a former town supervisor, also owns the Adirondack Holiday Lodge property at the Four Corners. The gas pumps would service the 1,250 residents and countless visitors of this town, home to attractions such as Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, High Falls Gorge, Santa's Workshop and a number of motels.
The Holzers are planning on negotiating an agreement with Hyde Fuel, which services six gas stations in the Adirondacks.