2011-06-30 / Front Page

West Islip residents concerned over 24-hour laundromat

TOWN SAYS IT MEETS ZONING; HANDS TIED

The site of the former manufacturing Dzus Fastener Company is now vacant, raising concerns within the commpunity about what will eventually be developed there.The site of the former manufacturing Dzus Fastener Company is now vacant, raising concerns within the commpunity about what will eventually be developed there.Site of proposed 24-hour laundromat on Union Boulevard, West Islip.Site of proposed 24-hour laundromat on Union Boulevard, West Islip.
By Carolyn James
A 24-hour Laundromat, opening at 460 Union Boulevard, West Islip, has raised a flurry of concern from residents and members of the West Islip Association (WIA), a civic group working to promote the area.

“We have a lot of questions and major concerns, especially because this is going to be open 24-7,” said Joe DeCarlo, president of the association, http://www.westislipassociation.org/. “Frankly, this is going to move our community in the opposite direction of what we are trying to do, which is to attract upscale businesses.”

The Laundromat is to open in the space that formerly housed Blockbuster and according to Islip Town officials needs no special permits or approvals. The Town recently issued a “Stop Work” order when it determined that interior work on the building was being done without adequate building permits. Since then, however, the owners have been to the Town and are in the process of obtaining those permits.

“They have complied with the Stop Work order,” said Dave Genaway, the Town’s Commissioner of Planning. “It (the laundromat) is a As of Right Use, so from a zoning standpoint, nothing prevents them from opening there.”

“This is a community of private homes and there is very little in terms of rentals, which would require a Laundromat,” said DeCarlo. “Why do we need this kind of business there?”
The hours are also permitted and no special approvals are needed to operate a 24-hour business in that zone. Genaway said that the hours of operation are outlined in their planning and zoning review, which are reviewed by the Town.

“From a zoning standpoint there seems to be nothing we can do to prevent them from occupying those units,” said Councilman Steve Flottertan who has been discussing the issue with the residents and WIA. “Our hands are tied, but I am certainly going to work with the planning and zoning department to see if we can come up with something to address this situation so this does not happen again in the future.

That could mean some changes to the code that would require anyone who wants to open a 24-hour establishment to apply for a special permit or approval.

“I certainly am as upset as the neighbors because this seems to be an intense use of the area,” he added. “We will monitor the situation to make sure that the site does not become a problem.”
Genaway said that the only way the Town would act is if it receives and documents complaints that the site is violating the Town’s noise ordinance. Beyond that, he said, there’s not much the Town can do.

“We can’t presume that a use or user is going to break the law,” he said.

Efforts to reach the owners of the property were not immediately unsuccessful.

In related matters, the development of the DZUS Fastener property, also on Union Boulevard across from the proposed Laundromat, is still pending; it had been considered by Walgreens, but an application by that company was never completed, said Genaway.

The site is zoned Industrial One, which means it could be used, among other things, for warehousing, distribution, medical offices, offices, restaurants, health clubs or veterinarian services. No new applications for the site are pending with the town.

“The zoning is not over regulatory, so there is an opportunity for quite a bit of uses there,” said Genaway.
 

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