...How About A Supermarket Off The Runway?
The politicians of Farmingdale, Long Island, extol the economic benefits of a massive new supermarket, while the proposal has driven some opponents to such headline-grabbing stunts as attending council meetings made up as bloodied airplane crash victims. The new Stew Leonard's superstore will be 1,032 feet from the end of busy Republic Airport's main runway. "It's a disappointment that they don't understand ... that it's unsafe to build these types of facilities in these locations," said William McShane, chairman of the Long Island Business Aviation Association. The store will be well within the airport's runway protection zone and, in addition to local aviation officials, the state department of transportation also objected to the location. All fear the horrible potential of a crash into the store. However, the Babylon Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously in favor of letting the 160,000-square-foot store, complete with petting zoo, settle in below short final, to the cheers of local business people. "We want the store here," said Bob Getchell of the East Farmingdale Civic Association. "It's good for the economy, it's good for the neighborhood." The FAA says the store won't pose any air navigation hazard.