Vote possible on Nesconset eatery plan

An order with a chili cheese hot dog,

An order with a chili cheese hot dog, "Blast," fries and drinks rests on a table at the Sonic in North Babylon. (April 25, 2011) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

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The Smithtown Town Zoning Board may vote Tuesday on a controversial plan to build a Sonic drive-through restaurant in Nesconset.

Board of Zoning Appeals chairwoman Adrienne Giannadeo said Friday the panel would discuss the proposal to build the 2,100-square-foot eatery at the southeast corner of Middle Country Road and Alexander Avenue, near Smith Haven Mall. The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. at the town senior center, 420 Middle Country Rd.

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"If we can make a decision, we might" vote on numerous variance requests, Giannadeo said. She would not disclose how she plans to vote.

Opponents, including many people who live near the site, have said they are concerned about traffic and noise from the restaurant's loudspeakers.

The project's backer, Valley Stream-based Serota Smithtown Llc, is asking the zoning board to approve variances that would allow the drive-in to have 22 loudspeakers, positioned at parking spaces for order placing. Serota also wants the board to certify that Sonic is an indoor eatery with curbside service.

Town planners questioned the latter request, saying the Sonic chain specializes in serving customers who dine in their vehicles. Town zoning laws bar such restaurants without a waiver.

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