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Smithtown and Taco Bell officials argue over plans for eatery revamp
Smithtown Town planners and an attorney for Taco Bell argued last week over the fast-food chain’s plans to revamp its Nesconset restaurant.
At a hearing Tuesday night before the town Board of Zoning Appeals, planning and building officials said cars lined up at a drive-through window would block traffic in the eatery’s parking lot. They also questioned the size of proposed signs.
Kings Park attorney Donald King, representing Taco Bell, dismissed their concerns as “nonsense.”
“I would think that Taco Bell knows what’s best for Taco Bell,” King said. “They’re not going to do something stupid for Taco Bell.”
Taco Bell wants to expand the current 2,068-square-foot restaurant on Route 347 and Southern Boulevard to 2,962 square feet. The chain is seeking variances for signs and other amenities that don’t conform with town code. King said the changes are part of a makeover expected to cost “a couple million dollars.”
King fumed when town planners said a sign bearing the restaurant’s name -- in two separate pieces -- should count as two signs. He argued it was one sign. “Taco Bell is not a silly company,” he said.
The board did not indicate when it would rule on Taco Bell’s request.