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Watkins asks Tops to reduce parking

    WATKINS GLEN—Tops Friendly Markets eliminated six parking spaces in the plans for adding gas pumps at the Watkins Glen store location.
    Code Enforcement Officer Gordon Wright made the suggestion at the Wednesday, June 15, village planning board meeting. The six parking spots face the location of the two proposed gas islands. Each island would have two pumps, with a total of four spots where vehicles can get gas. Tops wants to install fuel pumps in the parking lot, just north of the Franklin Street entrance. There is currently a row of parking spots in that location.
    Wright explained if the six additional parking spots are not eliminated there could be a congestion problem. Gas traffic would enter the parking lot and pull around the backside of the pumps, so all vehicles are going the same way. Wright said if there is a line of traffic waiting at the pumps, any vehicles parked in the next row over would be blocked. He suggested eliminating the six parking spots directly behind the pumps. Wright said that would still leave the two handicapped spots closest to the building and another spot on the other end of the row near the road.
    Acting chairperson Amedeo Fraboni reiterated his concerns about trucks with big boats potentially obstructing the traffic flow out of the parking lot. As all vehicles will be directed the same way through the pumps, they would pull away from the islands and into the lane of outgoing traffic. Fraboni said his concern was a large enough truck pulling forward into that lane to put fuel in a boat. Other than that, Fraboni said he didn’t think the board had any objections.
    The Tops representatives agreed to make the parking eliminations to the drawings and send updated versions to Wright the next day. Wright in turn sent the plans on to the New York State Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Conservation.
    He said the planning board is now scheduled to do the state environmental quality review (SEQR) and preliminary approval next month. Wright added if those two things happen in July, the planning board could refer the project to the county planning board and hold an August public hearing.




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