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Sonic Sues Smithtown Over Denial

Town of Smithtown denied Sonic for similar reasons to that of proposed East Meadow location.

It turns out East Meadow isn't the only place on Long Island involved in a Sonic debate.

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. 

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.

J January 04, 2013 at 03:59 AM
and if we have a sonic we pay less in taxes. Sonic, Sue Town of Hempstead too!!!
robert January 05, 2013 at 06:40 AM
J...I wish you were right but we will never pay less in taxes because the dispicable politicians in the T.O.H. will just find a way to squander it. The new year barely started and I already recieved one of those worthless four page mailers today.
David January 05, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Seriously Paul??? Have you really never heard of a file photo?? Once a photo has been uploaded to the Patch's website, it can be used again at the discretion of the Patch. Newspapers do it ALL the time. You really are clueless, aren't you?
paul January 06, 2013 at 12:20 AM
To David: Me clueless? No Me educating you? Yes See caption under photo: 'Three actual shots of Suffolk Sonic on Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon before opening and then at lunch and at dinner. Credit Bill Alderman " If you have been following Sonic from the beginning you would have known what I was referring to....... That is not a stock photo. You can ask the person that took it....
David January 07, 2013 at 07:00 AM
There seems to be only one photo even though the caption says three. I know who took it, and I know what went on in East Meadow and who caused a good part of it. But since this photo is UNDATED, it could very well be a stock photo. I don't need to ask the person who took the photo because I don't behave like a second grader. Just because someone has a photo credit, it doesn't mean there's an agenda attached to it. Why do you just throw accusations and insults around without EVER having any facts to back them up? Don't you ever tire of it?

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