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Smithtown ZBA to Hold Public Hearing on Sonic Plans [POLL]

Residents have their chance to voice their opinion on whether they want a Sonic in Nesconset or not.

Town of Smithtown residents have an opportunity to share their thoughts on whether Nesconset should become the second town on Long Island to have a Sonic restaurant. 

Smithtown Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on on the corner of Middle Country Road and Alexander Avenue, near Smith Haven Mall, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Eugene A. Cannataro Senior Citizen Center.  

An attorney representing  Valley Stream-based Serota Smithtown LLC will present detailed plans for the 2,100 square-foot Sonic, a 1950s diner-style restaurant its outdoor food service as an accessory use to its indoor seating, according to a Newsday article

The hearing is necssary as the developers are asking for a special-exception use permit to build the restaurant, as outdoor dining is not allowed within the Town of Smithtown. 

Residents will have a chance to chime in on whether or not they think a Sonic restaurant is a good idea in Nesconset. 

We'd like to ask you, would you support having a Sonic restaurant in Nesconset? 

Nesconset Dude June 25, 2012 at 05:05 PM
What is the big "to do" over this Sonic proposal? I mean, with all the fast food joints in the area, why the level of attention to this one? Did anyone fight Checkers? I mean, Checkers is great if you adore grease. I think there are much more important development issues going on right now in Nesconset, why is The Patch and Newsday only focused on this?
AH11767 June 25, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I don't think it's the idea of a fast food restaurant. It's the idea that the developers would like to bulldoze vacant land at the end of a residential development to build the restaurant in an already busy corridor.
Sharon Lynn June 25, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I know if I lived there or I was the owner of Checkers....I'd think it was a really bad idea! I'd much rather see trees then another fast food restaurant or empty office building.
Argile June 25, 2012 at 09:17 PM
My opinion on Checkers, I'm not really an environmental nutbar but, they sure as hell tore down a crapload of trees just so they could build another fast food restaurant. Passed by there today too. 1 car in the parking lot. OOOH! Business must be booming...NOT! What a waste. I'll give it a year. I'd rather look at trees while driving by. Checkers will be closed just like Fosters bit the big one on Smithtown Blvd. Another area that's nothing but a big waste. Meanwhile there's a HUGE vacancy on the corner of Rt. 347 and Middle Country Rd. where 6th Ave Electronics/Fortunoffs/Petsmart/Intermezzo's used to be. It'll probably stay vacant for a very long time since the taxes make it not worth it for entrepreneurs. As for my opinion on Sonic, if the land has already been cleared out then go for it. It's not coming out of my pocket. Problem is if it goes bust then it'll be just another eye sore for the community.
Christopher D'Antonio June 25, 2012 at 09:54 PM
The vacant Sixth Avenue Electronics shopping center and Intermezzo will likely be torn down or substantially altered once NYSDOT creates the grade separated interchange between 347 and Jericho Turnpike as part of the reconstruction of 347 from Hauppauge to Port Jefferson Station.
Christopher D'Antonio June 25, 2012 at 09:58 PM
A summary of the project can be found at the DOT website for it here: https://www.dot.ny.gov/regional-offices/region10/projects/ny-347/news. Whether or not it makes it out to Port Jeff, who knows, but the current construction in Hauppauge is turning out really nice. Hopefully it makes it worth the traffic everyone endured.
+irish+ June 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I would like to know why non-residents and/or property owners are permitted to speak at Town of Smithtown hearings and meetings on such matters. When I was a resident of the Town of Islip, those who were not property owners/residents were not permitted to speak before their boards, even if in contract to buy homes.
+irish+ June 25, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I would like to know why non-residents who do not own property in the Town of Smithtown are permitted to speak before board meetings. When I lived in the Town of Islip, only residents and/or property owners could be heard at these meetings.
AH11767 June 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Agreed Christopher. Until the access points are significantly altered, I would argue that we won't likely see anything substantial in the former 6th Avenue Electronics space. The location is very visible but so difficult to access from both 347 and Middle Country Road.
Nesconset Dude June 26, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Hey, how about kinow down that mess and put affordable housing there. Just sayin'...... ;)
jeremiah bullfrog June 26, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I think if anyone here drove past the sonic on 231 during its first 6 months of operation, they would really dislike all the traffic sitting on the shoulder for endless hours, waiting to order.
Nesconset Dude June 26, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Holy fat finger Batman! I meant to say how about tearing down that mess.......That's the trouble with multitasking
Nesconset Dude June 26, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I'm pretty sure that it's been mentioned by the town that this type of dining is already prohibited, so it's probably a non-issue. There are many better locations around the area for this, but it might not matter if Smithtown won't allow it to begin with.
Nesconset Dude June 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Here's the pretty details: Request:Special Exception to permit a 2,100 sq.ft. counter service restaurant;Variance of a special exception standard to permit a counter service restaurant to have outdoor dining; Variance to permit outdoor dining in WSI district;Permit 22 loud speakers at locations other than drive-thru windows;Reduce required landscape islands from 9 to 1;Reduce landscape area between front property line and parking from 8% to 7% (existing);Increase number of ground signs from 1 to 32;Increase max. area of ground signs from 40 sq.ft. to 739 sq.ft.; Increase number of wall signs from 1 to 7;Increase height of 2 wall signs from 15 ft. to 20 ft.; Increase height of 1 wall sign from 15 ft. to 21 ft.;Permit 3 wall signs not facing a public street;Interpretation to determine if curb-service is permitted as an accessory use to a counter service restaurant. I don't think this one has a chance. I think the line about the 22 loudspeakers is the funniest part of the request. There really are homes *right there*. I'm almost thinking of going to watch another mob of riled up homeowners go at it with the town. Purely for entertainment purposes, of course. This isn't passing.
Christopher D'Antonio June 27, 2012 at 03:42 AM
The burden of proof that Sonic has to lift to obtain a special exception is located here: http://www.ecode360.com/SM0115#SM0115 in section 322-94 (G). It is a large burden to lift. In addition to the fact that the Zoning Board of Appeals doesn't seem to be empowered to vary the standards of a special exception, pursuing a special exception as a service counter restaurant negates the ability of the site to pursue a special exception for outdoor dining. I wish I could have seen how the meeting went tonight.
Argile June 27, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Additional roadway lanes will: -Increase roadway capacity during peak congestion hours -Improve safety and traffic flow through elimination of bottlenecks New 45 mph speed limit will: -Minimize speeding during off-peak hours -Increase safety for motorists and pedestrians 1. So for them to increase capacity they'll have to make it a 3 lane highway from Haupague to Port Jeff. I would welcome this. Can't wait to see how they pull this off. 2. Minimize speed to 45mph to prevent speeding? What I can't stand are people that have no clue what's going on. The only time I can actually speed on 347 is on a Sunday morning at 7am. Everyone is already doing 40mph in the left lane in a 55mph zone because either they are complete idiots or they have no clue that the speed limit is 55. Note: in order to get anywhere near 55mph you have to take the RIGHT lane. But by then you will have hit another red light. Other than that it sounds like a wonderful project. Where's all this money coming from to do it?
Rich M June 27, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Christopher - Meeting went as well as to be expected. Mr. Hart's Legal team presented their case and the residents did everything we could to protect our neighborhood. The biggest concern is the safety of the residents from the certain increased traffic that would come from building this fast food resturant. Not to mention the foot traffic, litter, noise from the 22 proposed outside speakers, hours of operation, 6 lighted signs that would light up the neighbors backyards, decrease in property values, etc... We can only hope that the Board members appreciate the harm that would be done by approving such a request.

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