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BZA Cites Parking Concerns as Reason for Sonic Rejection

Traffic and the proximity to bars were also given as reasons the board's decision.

Concerns with parking, traffic and the proximity to local bars were the main determinants in the Hempstead Town Board of Zoning Appeals' (BZA) decision Spencer Hart's application to bring Sonic Drive-in to East Meadow, according to Newsday.

After on the matter in which Hart, local business owners and residents in the community shared their takes on the proposed Sonic, which would occupy the spot formerly belonging to Rita's Ices at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, the BZA to reject Hart's proposal on March 14.

He approval for eight variance applications, including special exceptions to install a drive-thru window and use a portion of the premise for outdoor dining, as well as variances for off-street parking.

Additionally, Hart for permission to install 24 menu board signs under two proposed canopies, install a drive-thru preview menu and regular menu board, and install a speaker and confirmation screen system for the drive-thru.

From Newsday:

The board denied the applications based on the huge shortage of parking for the proposed use, documents show, a shortage the board said could have a disastrous effect on nearby homes and businesses since patrons would try to find parking on residential streets. The board found that the study by Sonics traffic and parking expert and his testimony lacked information about parking in the lot starting at 9 p.m., shortly after which two nightclubs within the shopping center would be in operation and competing for parking spaces, documents show.

Bob Fanelli, a media relations representative for Sonic, told the Long Island Report that there was a plan in place to manage the boom in traffic that the East Meadow location might have received.

This is not necessarily the end of the line for Sonic in East Meadow, as Hart could appeal the BZA decision or submit a modified proposal. Hart's attorney, William Cohn, told Patch that his client made a decision pertaining to his course of action.

Do you think the BZA's reasoning for the rejection was fair? Tell us in the comments.

An tUasal Airgead March 27, 2012 at 07:37 PM
A report released last week detailed why Sonic's zoning variances were denied. It says the Sonic site, a shopping center that also holds two nightclubs, would be 609 parking spaces short of the 1,256 the code requires. Of course, it's 510 spaces shy of what the code states right now, and that's with the site, a former Rita's Italian Ice, shuttered. http://www.newsday.com/opinion/editorial-li-s-hostility-to-new-business-1.3624751
Michael Ganci March 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I will be posting a copy of what was released in the next couple of days. Keep an eye out for that.
An tUasal Airgead March 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM
At some point Sonic will need to make a business decision if it is worth fighting, or just move on. White Castle is still bogged down in the legal quicksand vs. the TOH. March 13, 2012 Matter of White Castle Sys., Inc. v Board of Zoning Appeals of Town of Hempstead In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 to review seven determinations of the Board of Appeals of the Town of Hempstead, all dated June 2, 2010 ... http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-second-department/2012/2011-02094.html
Chris April 13, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I happen to enjoy Sonic a lot. I live in Long Beach, and the drive to West Babylon isn't good- at all. The amount of parking in East Meadow is ridiculous. There are spots down the street, across the street. Those stupid-ass Hempstead representatives. I thought we were supposed to vote for them so they can share OUR ideas, not theirs. E.M. residents are such baffoons. Why do you think they invented driveways, dumbasses?!
paul April 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM
As I have said for years: Some Long Islanders need a check up from the neck up, and if the shoe fits then wear it............

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