Garrison Gas Station Wants Canopy

Also asks Philipstown for OK to sell used cars

By Chip Rowe

The Philipstown Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Sept. 19 to hear feedback on a plan to add a canopy over the gas pumps at the Gulf station on Route 9D in Garrison. The hearing had been scheduled for Aug. 15 but was postponed.

Arafat Ibrahim, who bought the property in 2013, said he also would like to sell a handful of used cars on the 1-acre site — something that has been done informally and which earned the station at least one citation.

Neighbors have expressed concern about the proposals. In a letter to the Planning Board, 47 neighbors calling themselves the Garrison Hamlet Association cited inaccuracies in Ibrahim’s application and asked the board to conduct a careful review, “given that the property is adjacent to an historic public school, church and wetlands, and is within direct view of at least 15 homes and two parks.”

The owner of the Garrison Gulf would like to add a canopy over its pumps. (Photo by C. Rowe)

The group expressed concern about potential contamination of the groundwater during construction, pollution of the wetlands, a canopy being an eyesore and the ongoing car sales, with test drives taking place on Nelson Lane.

“We are constantly struggling against the perception that this neighborhood is a commercial zone, where anything goes,” the residents wrote. “It is not. The Hamlet Mixed-Use zone that is sandwiched between Hamlet Residential and Rural Conservation zones should not be interpreted as a commercial hub or catch-all.”

Attorney Bart Lansky, who represents Ibrahim, told the Planning Board on July 18 that the canopy design had been modified in response to the concerns. He said that, like the Appalachian Market station on Route 9, the Gulf canopy would be shingled and have no signs and that a stone veneer will be added to the front of the building.

“Canopies have become a basic requirement” for gas stations, Lansky said. “People will no longer stop for gas if it’s raining or snowing.” He said the lighting would be directed straight down and its spread limited by an overhang.

In addition, he said, Ibrahim is willing to use plantings instead of a chain-link fence to obscure cars parked to the north of the pumps. Lansky said on July 18 he would submit a revised application.

Ron Gainer, the town engineer, said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has not had any concerns about the station since it ended monitoring in 2009 of an earlier spill, and that the county planning department gave its OK.

Lansky said his client plans to have no more than five cars for sale at any time. Steve Gaba, the town attorney, said the board must determine if used car sales are “usual and customary” for filling stations, although the Gulf is also a repair shop, and the town allows limited car sales at those locations.

The public hearing is scheduled to take place during the Planning Board’s Sept. 19 meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Old VFW Hall, 34 Kemble Ave., in Cold Spring.

One thought on “Garrison Gas Station Wants Canopy

  1. Thanks for this article. I am a resident who lives near the gas station and the nearby properties, and let me state clearly that the entire stretch is going downhill. People may notice that as they drive by: the post office now has giant white tubes coming out of its windows, presumably because the AC doesn’t work; the back lot is filled with trash and a tree downed from a storm a year ago hasn’t been cleared away. Mail trucks come in and out at 4 a.m. The Garrison Cafe paint is peeling everywhere and those tacky signs keep multiplying. Now the gas station wants to sell used cars — next to a school. Test drives when school lets out, anyone?

    We wish town officials would look at this stretch and see what we’re forced to see every day: shabby businesses that are poorly maintained. Do Garrison residents want this in the heart of their area? We have tried to make this case but keep being told it’s a matter of building codes.

    The gas station owner may have great intentions, but the question is, why do we need a used-car lot next to the Garrison School and St. Philip’s Church? Can people not go to Fishkill or points north? We’d love it if concerned local people came to the hearing on Aug. 15 to show support for a fellow neighborhood.