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After long court battle, Valero gas station’s illuminated sign OK’d

The Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals approved a zoning variance last Thursday to allow the Valero gas station on Main Road in Jamesport to keep the internally illuminated price signs that have kept it in court with the town for nearly 10 years.

The Town Board claimed in 2008 that the light was not permitted under zoning for the property, which lies within the Jamesport Hamlet Historic District, and took Valero and property owner 801 Realty Corp. to state Supreme Court.

The town wanted the signs removed. 801 Realty had operated a gas station on the property since 1990, and Valero took over as the gas supplier in 2003.

It claimed the new sign was more energy efficient and didn’t require an employee to climb a ladder to change the prices several times per day.

ZBA approval of the variance essentially ends the dispute.

“That was part of the arrangement, to see if they could go to the ZBA and get squared away,” town attorney Bob Kozakiewicz said. “They will still need to get site plan approval from the Planning Board, and then the lawsuit will go away.”

Mr. Kozakiewicz said there are a number of other gas stations with internally illuminated lights and he plans to cite them as well and require them to seek ZBA variances.

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