Jul 28, 2014

Much Ado About Stop & Shop's Gas Station Petition

Applicants for a new gas station on Monroe Turnpike tout a petition with over 1,600 signatures in support, while opponents doubt its validity.

Much Ado About Stop & Shop's Gas Station Petition

Attorney Stephen Studer says his client's proposal for a five-bay, 10-pump gas station at 528 Monroe Turnpike is not only the right kind of development for the site, but that there's also high demand for it. The Stop & Shop station would offer gas at discounted prices for shoppers racking up points on their store cards.

Last Thursday, Studer presented a petition in support of the gas station to the Planning & Zoning Commission, touting the more than 1,600 signatures that were garnered at Monroe's supermarket.

But opponents of the special exception permit application tried to belittle the petition on several occasions during that night's public hearing.

Phyllis Kansky of Brookside Drive spoke against the gas station out of concern that a flooding problem in her neighborhood would only get worse, and presented a letter signed by 10 Brookside Drive residents to bolster point.

Kansky said those 10 signatures should carry more weight than a Stop & Shop petition in which people were paid $15 an hour to garner signatures outside the store.

Bernard Prushko Jr., whose family owns the Shell station right next door to 528 Monroe Turnpike, presented a petition with over 100 signatures in opposition of the Stop & Shop gas station.

"We didn't have people outside Stop & Shop who were paid," Prushko said.

Ed Coffey, the town historian, contends having a gas station at 528 Monroe Turnpike will make an already dangerous intersection even more treacherous. And he claims Stop & Shop's petition is misleading as to the gas station's proposed location.

"The clerk at Stop & Shop told me the petition was for the gas station to be 'right here,'" Coffey said, noting the pumps would actually be off site.

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