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Sonic Sues Smithtown Over Denial

Serota Smithtown LLC filed a lawsuit against Town of Smithtown for rights to open a Nesconset location on Dec. 28, 2012.

Sonic franchisees have filed a lawsuit against the Town of Smithtown's Board of Zoning Appeals over the rights to build a drive-in restaurant in Nesconset. 

Smithtown Board of Zoning Appeals denied an application by Serota Smithtown LLC for multiple variances and exceptions to build a 2,100-square-foot Sonic restaurant off the intersection of Middle Country Road and Alexander Avenue on Nov. 13, 2012. 

By a vote of 3-2, Smithtown zoning board members found Sonic would create significant noise impacting the surrounding residential community. They said Sonic's proposed plans did not provide sufficient space for vehicles waiting at the drive-thru window and would traffic hazards on both Middle Country Road and Alexander Avenue. Zoning Board member Steven Gargiulo and Anthony Tanzi were against the application's denial. 

Serota Smithtown LLC, the Valley Stream-based property owners, have challenged the zoning board's decision by filing an Article 78 in New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 28, according to WebCivil Supreme. Attorney Bram Weber, of Melville-based Weber Law Group, is representing the franchisee. 

Under Article 78, commercial businesses or individuals may challenge a decision made by New York State or local agency, such as the Town of Smithtown. 

"Both the property owner and the franchisee believe strongly that the evidence presented at the public hearing overwhelmingly supported the issuance of the special exception and variances to permit the Sonic restaurant,”  Weber told  Long Island Business News.

Weber could not be immediately reached by Patch for further information. 

Spencer Hart, a partner in the exclusive Sonic franchisee for Long Island, told LIBN that he has plans to build half a dozen Sonic drive-in restaurants on Long Island over the next few years. 

However, Smithtown is not the only Long Island township who has rejected plans for a proposed Sonic restaurant within its borders.

In March 2012, Town of Hempstead's Board of Zoning Appeals rejected Sonic's plans to build in East Meadow citing parking shortages leading to traffic concerns and its proximity to local bars. 

lsg January 13, 2013 at 03:24 PM
yOU ARE SO RIGHT. i WAS AT THE HEARING AND i WAS SURPRISED THAT THERE WERE SO MANY BS ARTISTS MAKING PRESENTATIONS AND TELLING US THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE A DISTURBING FACTOR TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. WHY DON'T THESE PEOPLE FROM SOMEWHERE UPSTATE BUILD IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD AND LEAVE US ALONE. THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE UNSIGHTLY RESTAURANTS YOU WILL EVER SEE TODAY.
lsg January 13, 2013 at 03:32 PM
LOOK WHERE THIS A-HOLE ENDED UP. I DON'T THINK HE LASTED A YEAR. LOOK AT ALL THE $$$$$$$$$$$ THEY SPENT. THE EMPTY LUBER YARD ACROSS THE STREET ON MIDDLE COUNTRY WOULD BE A BETTER LOCATION, BUT SEROTA IS A GREEDY PIG AND WANTS TO GET RID OF THIS PIECE OF PROPERTY NO MATTER WHAT THE NEIGHBORS OR THE TOWN THINKS. I ONLY HOPE THAT HE IS NOT ABLE TO "GET" TO THE PEOPLE ON THE ZONING BOARD
lsg January 13, 2013 at 03:36 PM
YOU ARE SO RIGHT. TURNS FROM RT 25 FROM BOTH DIRECTIONS ARE PERMITTED WHERE THE LUMBER YARD WAS.
John K Massaro January 13, 2013 at 05:41 PM
I'm also thinking that the lumber yard also has traffic access from Maple avenue, so that could allieviate alot of the backup also...
lsg January 13, 2013 at 06:55 PM
I totally agree with you!

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