The East Meadow based Sonic Drive-In will once again have to wait for its day in front of the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
An adjournment was granted on the hearing after it was requested by the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce at . The new hearing date is set for March 7 at 2 p.m. at the town’s Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion in Hempstead.
Ted Rosenthal, counsel for the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce (EMCC), said that they asked for the adjournment because they have not “had an opportunity to review the application.”
“We want to know far more about what is going on in that whole shopping center,” he said. “It is a big application and we need an opportunity to review it, so we asked for the adjournment so that we could sit down with the applicant and their lawyers, find out what their proposal is, and see whether this will be a benefit for the businesses in our community.”
Additionally, Rosenthal cited the chamber’s concern about “numerous” violations in the shopping center — East Meadow Plaza — Sonic would be calling home. Though it is not part of the application for the BZA, it does come as part of the entire process, he said.
“We have a huge concern with the shopping center as a whole because there are presently a great deal of violations that exist against the property as a whole – some very dangerous – and it appears that at the present time they are really not being addressed and, for the safety of the businesses in the community and the residents that come to the area, we need to have those addressed as well,” said Rosenthal, noting that where are “about 75 violations.”
Sonic’s attorneys, William Cohn and William Bonesso, said that they do object but “understand” the request for adjournment. Both parties agreed on the March 7 meeting date.
“It gives us an opportunity to explain the application to them and respond to whatever their complaints might be, assuming there are,” said Cohn about meeting with the EMCC.
BZA Chairman David P. Weiss said that the board is aware of the violations at the site. He “strongly urged” Sonic’s counsel to discuss the situation with their client as well as the property owners. He said that the board “likes to look at things as one whole,” not as individual pieces of information.
“So whatever can be done to alleviate those issues, because you know that will affect the potential consent, or at least agreement, of the community as far as this application goes,” he added.
“The violations are a totally different thing – it affects the shopping center, it has nothing to do with Sonic,” Cohn continued. “At the same time, the board made it clear that they would like to see something done about it. We will do everything we can in that regard.”
Sonic will work with the property owner to make sure those issues are addressed, Cohn added.
Weiss said that no official notices will go out to notify people on the new hearing date, but it will appear on the town’s website.