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NY top court will hear Route 25A/Rocky Point Drive-In case

New York’s highest court agreed Thursday to take up a long-running lawsuit centering on Brookhaven officials’ efforts to block a big-box retailer from opening on the site of the former Rocky Point Drive-In on Route 25A.

The state Court of Appeals said it would hear the case, pitting the town board against Lerner-Heidenberg Properties, a New Jersey-based developer that wants to build a Lowe’s Home Improvement center on the former drive-in property.

The court will hear the case some time in 2013, spokesman Gary Spencer said.

In 2000, the town attempted to change the zoning of the property from retail to recreational, after which Lerner-Heidenberg applied to build the store, according to town officials. The developer eventually sued for the right to build, tying up the zoning change in court.

A trial court sided with the developer in 2010, saying the town “in bad faith delayed processing” the company's application, according to court documents. But earlier this year, the Appellate Division, New York’s midlevel appeals court, reversed that decision and ruled for the town, saying the lower court’s determination was “not warranted by the facts” produced at the trial. Lerner-Heidenberg then petitioned the Court of Appeals to take up the case.

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