A national Chinese restaurant chain is challenging the Town of Smithtown’s ban on commercial statues.
The town Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday night will consider a variance allowing a pair of sculptures outside the proposed P.F. Chang’s restaurant at the Smith Haven Mall. Entrances to restaurants in the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based chain often feature 11-foot-high horses, symbolizing China’s Forbidden City, according to the company’s website.
But such statues, when they are part of signs promoting restaurants and other businesses, normally are barred under the town zoning code, said town planning director Frank DeRubeis.
“We just don’t allow this kind of stuff,” he said. “But once you allow one, you have to allow more.”
If approved, the P.F. Chang’s at Smith Haven Mall would be the chain’s first franchise in Suffolk County and the second on Long Island, joining one in Westbury.
The zoning board also will consider a request to rebuild a Taco Bell restaurant on state Route 347 in Nesconset.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the town senior center, 420 Middle Country Rd. The public is welcome to attend.
Above: P.F. Chang's in Westbury has hulking statues of Ming warrior horses. The chain is seeking a variance to allow statues outside its proposed restaurant at the Smith Haven Mall. (Dec. 16, 2010) Photo by Jesse Newman