Smithtown BZA to Hear P.F. Chang's Petition to Keep Horses

Chinese restaurant chain seeks variances from town officials to install two large terra cotta horse statues near entrance.


P.F. Chang's will petition Town of Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals for permission to keep a few horses in Lake Grove.  

Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Eugene Cannataro Senior Citizen Center. It's agenda includes hearing requests for variances from P.F. Chang's and Taco Bell in Nesconset. 

P.F. Chang's, a Chinese restaurant franchise, has submitted plans to open a new location at the Smith Haven Mall, next door to the Cheesecake Factory.  It will request three variances:  to increase the maximum height of a wall sign from 15 feet to 25 feet, to increase the number of wall signs from 1 to 2 signs, and to increase the maximum square footage of a ground sign from 32 square feet to 141 square feet. 

The restaurant chain's requests would allow it to put a pair of its trademark 11-foot tall terracotta horses on either side of its doorway. The horses are mounted on 3-foot, 8-inch tall bases to stand nearly 15-feet tall. 

"Our majestic 11-foot tall horses grace the entrance to many of our restaurants. The horse symbolizes the original Forbidden City in China, which was built for China’s first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi," reads P.F. Chang's website. 

The restaurant developer said the signs or horses would not impact the environment of the mall, given that they are 750 feet away from the roadway and the Cheesecake Factory's signs are also oversized. 

In addition to P.F. Chang's, Smithtown's BZA will hear requests from Taco Bell in Nesconset for variances needed to demolish its existing building and build a new, updated restaurant on the southwest corner of Smithtown Bypass and Southern Boulevard. 

Sophia Del Gigante October 24, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I 100% agree!
Christine Barry October 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It is too dangerous to patronize businesses on Main St. Who doesn't love to shop in a quaint town along "Main Street" ? Small businesses make towns unique and attractive to shoppers. Smithtown's Main St. is a 2 lane highway...planning and development need to address these issues of pedestrian danger . Until then, I am bringing my family and my pocketbook to areas with safer walkways...if it is the mall, then that's where I will go.
Reform Smithtown December 29, 2012 at 07:45 AM
What no one understands is that the Smithtown Planning Department is very powerful and they do what they want without regards to what the neighborhood wants or even what Mr. Vecchio or the town board wants. Unfortunately, Frank Derubeis, Smithtown’s planning director, calls the shots...not only is he the highest paid town employee, making even more than Mr. Vecchio, but he also decides what is allowed to be built in Smithtown and even what you as the taxpayer can do with YOUR property. The sad part of it is that no one has stepped up to stop this abuse of power. In fact, he doesnt even live in Smithtown. I think all employees of the town should live within its borders. We need new leadership in town hall...someone who won't put up with town employees like Frank Derubeis who should work for us the taxpayers. In my opinion, Mr. Vecchio and Mr. Derubeis are contributing to the fiscal problems that our town is experiencing; by NOT allowing our tax base to grow and homeowners and businessmen to invest in Smithtown. They need to go!
Marion Knott December 29, 2012 at 01:56 PM
And so it goes. Smithatown's Main St. serves a purpose-banking and that's about it. It has no special look and with the traffic pattern changed for the worst-I understand an increase of accidents from cars going in front of others at the 111 going into Main and faced with a one lane that someone thought was a great idea. Luckily we just go to my son's and Uncle G's and use the Citi Bank in Lake Grove. We even mailed in our taxes last week just to avoid the tie ups. I love it when I come home for the holidays because of the grandchildren. Last summer I thought I would take advantage of the senior center and continue the exercise that I enjoy in San Francisco. I was greeted by a grumpy lady at the desk-told that aerobics was on a TV screen, asked to just observe Zumba and told I couldn't do it since it woudl disturb the instructor, sneaked down to Zumba, just for a peak, met a group of retired teachers from Dogwood Elementary moved over to the side to observe when grumpy lady came storming in and gave me the "get out" sign. Since I was being picked up by husband in an hour I ended up being in a room with people waiting to be picked up by busses. Complained to the center and the town but got nowhere so I am inactive in the summer which when you are older doesn't make sense. I don't know how I got off the subject but it still bothers me to see a beautiful senior center controlled by the few. Now let me leave you so I can do some push-ups!
Marion Knott December 29, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Just a funny thought. I remember Veccio when he was a Democrat. Going to the opening of the original Nesconset library and no one (make that Republicans) talked to him so since I always feel for lost souls whether it be in the schools or occasions like this, I spoke to him and shortly after he became a Republican. I hope I didn't drive him to it. Oh well, just a thought.


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