Hundreds of residents pack hearing with town, Sonic reps
Smithtown, NY (SmithtownRadio.com) – Not a single resident spoke in favor of a plan to build a Sonic Drive-in Restaurant in Nesconset during a two and half hour public hearing on the matter Tuesday.
The proposal made by Serota Smithtown LLC, which details the construction of a Sonic restaurant on the corner of Alexander Avenue and Middle Country Road, met stiff resistance from over a hundred people who showed up to oppose the plan.
“I’ve been in the area for 40 years,” says Rosangela Santulin. “I’ve seen the mall grow, I’ve seen stores all around grow, but this Sonic business…enough is enough. There’s too much traffic, we can’t get out of our driveways.”
Others who spoke at the meeting of the Smithtown Zoning Board of Appeals expressed similar concerns, citing Sonic restaurants are notorious for causing traffic because of the chain’s “curb-dining,” where food is ordered through drive-in loudspeakers and delivered to each parked vehicle.
Other residents shared anxieties about the effects on the nearby residences.
“Aside from the vermin and pollution, it’s an attractive nuisance, especially on a Friday night,” says Michael Kannengieser. “I don’t know how late this place is going to be open, but still, with the constant smell of hamburgers in the air, it’s a quality of life issue.”
Yet Sonic representatives assured town board and residents their proposal met all of the town variances, and would not cause a significant disturbance to the surrounding areas.
“Sonic is a very self-contained entity, “says Spencer Hart, owner of the Long Island Sonic franchise. “I’m very confident that no one who is standing even at the outskirts of our own property will hear anything that’s going on within Sonic, either from a loudspeaker or from any other activity that takes place.”
Residents in attendance did not agree, however, the results of Sonic-hired specialists accurately reflected the level of disturbance the restaurant would cause the neighbors.
Continuing Coverage: Sonic Restaurant Proposal
The board adjourned the hearing before all residents spoke and before a final decision as reached. The town is awaiting the results of an environmental study before continuing what is expected to be closed door discussions on the matter.
The only other Sonic restaurant on Long Island is located on Deer Park Drive in North Babylon. The fast-food chain is based in Oklahoma City and is known for its resemblance to the drive-in restaurants of the 1950s.
Your Thoughts: Should a Sonic be built in Nesconset? Do you propose another location?