Smithtown officials and a restaurant owner have reached agreement on a plan to build a berm to protect neighbors from noise and lights emanating from the eatery.
Woodbury restaurateur Anthony Scotto, owner of Insignia Prime Steak and Sushi, agreed to erect the 10-foot-high earthen berm and to plant trees within an 80-foot buffer zone that would be created between the Smithtown Bypass business and neighboring homes. Residents had said that they were disturbed by vehicle headlights and loud music from the restaurant when it opened last year.
In exchange for constructing the berm, Scotto will be allowed to add about 100 parking spaces at the site, raising the number of stalls to about 220, town planning director Frank DeRubeis said.
DeRubeis said Scotto must use valets to park cars. "It has to be valet parking in order to get to that number of parking," he said. "We think that this solves it."
The town board on Tuesday approved the new parking as part of a modified site plan for the restaurant. It awaits approval from the town Zoning Board of Appeals, King said.
One neighbor, Anthony Setteducati, said he was optimistic the changes would alleviate residents' concerns. "It sounded like a reasonable plan to me," he said in a telephone interview. "I'm hopeful that it will work."
He and others had complained to town officials that they could not sleep because of late-night noise and music from the restaurant, and they said headlights from cars in the parking lot had been shining into their homes.
"They have DJs there," Setteducati said. "They blast music so that you can hear it three blocks away. That's really the problem."
Scotto and his representatives had disputed some of the residents' complaints at town board meetings, but said they would seek a remedy.
DeRubeis said Scotto had agreed to add building material that would absorb sounds. "They paid attention to a lot of noise issues and they took our suggestions," he said.