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BZA Rejects Sonic's Proposal for East Meadow Location

The client can still submit a modified proposal or appeal the ruling.

The Hempstead Town Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decided Wednesday to reject the application from Sonic Drive-in, which was interested in occupying the space formerly belonging to Rita’s Ices at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow.

“The legal council is preparing the findings, which is a statement of explanation as to why the board denied the case,” BZA Secretary Richard Regina said.

Spencer Hart, the franchisee who also owns the North Babylon location, sought approval for eight variance applications. These included 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, they were asking for permission to install 24 menu board signs under two proposed canopies, a drive-thru preview menu, a regular menu board and a speaker and confirmation screen system for the drive-thru.

According to Regina, Sonic has yet to be notified of the BZA’s decision.

“The client will get the decision of the findings just like everyone who signed in at the public hearing get,” he added.

Sonic could still potentially submit a modified proposal to the BZA for the property or they can appeal the BZA’s ruling.

Hart is being represented by William Cohn of Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Cohn, & Terrana LLP in Uniondale. Calls to his office were not immediately returned.

This is a breaking news story. Patch will provide more information as it's made available.

paul March 22, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The official release by the BZA has not yet been distributed. As stated by another writer it was not yet typed up for mailing. I was given the same response today in person at the TOH. If the decision is something that can be reasonably appealed I am pretty sure an attempt will be made. Keep writing/blogging all your positive comments. The right people are reading them... When an official response is received please feel let the BZA know how you feel....
Kristina Hollywood March 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/town-parking-traffic-reasons-for-rejecting-sonic-drive-in-1.3620906
Susan March 24, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I truly cannot believe the reasoning of the BZA!! But here is a question though, how does this situation differ from when Crispy Creme opened on Hempstead Tpke by Newbridege Road? It was THE first one in all of LI. There was plenty of traffic initially and then the thrill wore off, people realized Dunkin was better (lol) and traffic subsided. The same thing would happen with Sonic. I'm really appalled at this decision and I hope the Hart's decide to appeal it and/or modify their plan. Maybe a smaller Sonic is better than no Sonic at all!!!
paul March 25, 2012 at 02:48 AM
I was appalled when I read the Newsday article about the BZA decision on Sonic. Everyone should write a letter letting the Town of Hempstead BZA know that you were appalled about their reasoning on the decision. Please let them know that they got it WRONG. Do not let anyone tell you it is too late to send in a letter. If it is appealed then you will be one step ahead. Please write a letter and send it in. The TOH MUST know how you feel. WRITE THAT LETTER........ Board of Appeals One Washington Street Ground Floor Hempstead, NY 11550
Rebecca March 27, 2012 at 02:35 AM
If anyone is interested, I just wrote to the Town of Hempstead to ask them to look into the issue of this parking lot being "full" on the weekends (though I still have yet to see that!) because it basically proves that the clubs - which according to the owner's own testimony, are only allowed to have 1,050 people combined - are openly defying Town rules by having too many people. A friendly question: Do most people go to these clubs in groups, or alone? My experience is they go in groups, in limos, in cabs, and not alone, but what does everyone else think? Even if the average is 2 people per car, the 1,050-person cap would mean 525 parking spaces - leaving nearly 100 left over, WITH SONIC. So something smells very VERY fishy!

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