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Watkins plans Tops vote next month

   WATKINS GLEN, May 25—The Watkins Glen planning board agreed it will do the environmental impact and preliminary site plan reviews at the June 15 meeting for Tops’ proposal to install gas pumps.
   Representatives from Tops presented the plan again to install two gas pump islands at the Watkins Glen store, at the Wednesday, May 18, planning board meeting. The Watkins board said it agreed in concept with the plan and that Tops should start its half of the long-form project review.
   According to the plans, the gas pumps would be located in the middle of the front parking lot, just north of the Route 14 entrance. Tops is also considering installing a third gas pump island, but is planning on two for now. Traffic for gas would pull into the parking lot and drive around the pumps for access. After a driver is done at the pumps, he or she would be able to merge into the outgoing traffic lane of the parking lot. Larger vehicles would be directed to the gas pump closer to the road.
   Planning board members expressed a few concerns about the project, but their questions were answered by Tops’ representatives. John Bond asked if a vehicle would have enough room to pull forward and fill a boat’s gas tank. The board was told there should be enough room and not obstruct the outgoing lane of traffic.
   Board member Amedeo Fraboni explained the next step, the long-form impact statement, will be a lot of work. The board will have to answer a number of questions about the projects’ impacts on water, air, agricultural resources, etc., and provide examples. Fraboni said the public hearing date will most likely be selected during the next meeting. The project will also go before the county planning board if it is approved at the next village planning board meeting, June 15.



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