Smithtown Town Board members have unanimously approved zone change requests for two sites at a busy St. James intersection near Smith Haven Mall.
The board voted 5-0 to approve requests by Sun Enterprises Inc. and Haddington Company LLC to rezone a vacant 0.6-acre site and the adjacent 1.6-acre site of a former Checkers restaurant to neighborhood business as part of a nearly 5-acre development project fronting state Routes 347 and 25.
The board also voted to lift a 1995 zoning condition that restricted uses of a third site of about 2.68 acres that the companies plan to include in the development.
The proposed plan includes demolishing the Checkers and constructing a 30,500-square-foot retail building along Route 347 and a 3,100-square-foot building on Route 25.
Councilman Edward Wehrheim said the project will be a boon to the area.
"We're going to hopefully be bringing more businesses and jobs to that area, as well as there will be tax rateables that the town will receive from the buildings themselves," he said, adding that the site is also already in a commercial area. "I think it's an excellent place to do some improvements."
John Anzalone, an associate at the Melville-based law firm Brown & Altman LLP, which represents the applicants, told the town planning board in October that the property is expected to generate about $150,000 to $200,000 a year in taxes and provide roughly 25 construction and 15 permanent jobs.
Still, the town planning board narrowly approved the zone changes in a 3-2 vote at the time, because some were concerned that the applicants did not have tenants.
David Altman, a partner at Brown & Altman LLP, said in an interview Thursday that his clients are pleased the board approved the zone changes, and they are working to find tenants for the site.