Smithtown Town Hall is seen in an undated photo.

Smithtown Town Hall is seen in an undated photo. Credit: Erin Geismar

The Smithtown Town Board will seek assurances from a Commack church before approving a special event permit for an Oct. 29 children’s trick-or-treat event that drew criticism from neighbors last year.

Complaints on a petition read into the record at the town board meeting Tuesday included “chaos in the street,” discarded diapers, fights and parking violations at last year’s event outside the church, known as Church Unleashed, at 83 Shirley Court.

“You’ll need to get an action plan to see how it won’t affect the neighborhood,” Deputy Supervisor Thomas McCarthy said. “Until you have that, I don’t see how the board could approve it.”

Church Unleashed pastor Todd Bishop said that congregation members had picked up litter after last year’s event and had quickly corrected any parking violations. The church is pursuing parking with a shuttle service from nearby Mayfair Shopping Center, he added.

“I’m disappointed by that and shocked” by the town board’s reluctance to approve the event, he said, noting that his church was revitalizing a former synagogue used mainly in recent years by loitering teenagers.

Supervisor Patrick Vecchio appeared unswayed. “Pastor, the burden is on you,” he said.

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