Citing safety concerns, Woodstock’s planning board wants the town board to support its opposition to state approval for siting a gas station at the corner of Basin Road and Route 28. A derelict former gas-station building has sat for decades on the 0.76-acre lot overgrown with weeds at 1105 Route 28, a little sliver of Woodstock that crosses the state highway where the townships of Woodstock, Hurley and Kingston converge.
A half-century ago, Route 28 was primarily a two-lane road, and there was no traffic light. The single-pump gas station on that corner was owned and operated by Woodstock town justice Rudy Baumgarten.
According to Ulster County records, it has been owned by Hopewell Junction-based One Thousand One Hundred Five Route Twenty Eight LLC since 2017. The assessed value of the land and building was $175,000 in 2022. Estimated full market value is $286,885.
“I traveled that route three, four times a day, and I’ve seen several accidents right there,” planning Board chair Peter Cross said recently.
With heavier traffic volume and a busy Stewart’s at the opposite corner, the problems are compounded. “And the problem is that you’re coming down the hill on Route 28 and there’s the light. If the light’s green, tractor-trailers and everybody else puts the pedal to the metal to go down the hill,” Cross said. “Sometimes Stewart’s gets jammed up, and people are lined up on Zena Road to get into Stewart’s and backed all the way up to 28. So you’ve got people waiting on 28, they can’t get in, and people coming down [the hill].”
Cross noted the developer has been before the planning board three times in recent years, His development plans were rejected because of entrance and exit from Route 28. Preferred access would be from Basin Road, which has a traffic light controlling access to Route 28. But a low-clearance railroad bridge on Basin Road would prevent most delivery trucks from accessing the site via that route.
“Our main mission is health, safety and welfare, Cross said. “And of all the cases we’ve had before us in the last few years, I’ve never seen one that is more on that issue of health, safety and welfare. And you’re talking about tanker trucks full of gasoline going in and out. The real problem is they’re saying, well, it was a gas station. The station was tiny. They’re talking about something bigger than Stewart’s, God forbid someone dies. When the accident happens, everybody’s going to say what did the Woodstock planning board think about when they let that happen.”
The state Department of Transportation has approved access to and exit from the property onto Route 28, Woodstock opposes that.
“If they want to go off Basin Road with a light, that’s fine,” Cross said.
“But that’s not a good place to do it, either,” objected vice-chair Judith Kerman.
“No, it would not be good,” Cross conceded. “We’re basically asking the town to support us in the health, safety and welfare issues not to have that kind of entrance on [Route] 28 at that spot.”
“We’re asking for support and hopefully it will create a little bit of dialogue and response, and maybe we can have some further conversations,” planning board secretary Melissa Gray added.
Town planning consultant Matthew Rudikoff is reviewing the application, which has been in site-plan status for many years.
The planning board in Hurley cited similar safety concerns in January 2022 when it denied the site plan for a Dunkin’ drive-through at a different intersection that of state routes 28 and 375, despite DOT approval. That developer, Southern Realty and Development, has sued, calling the planning board decision arbitrary and capricious. The Supreme Court in Ulster County ruled procedural errors were made and ordered the application back to the planning board for further review.
Hurley has appealed. A ruling on the appeal is pending.