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BZA Cites Parking Concerns as Reason for Sonic Rejection

Traffic and the proximity to bars were also given as reasons the board's decision.

BZA Cites Parking Concerns as Reason for Sonic Rejection

Concerns with parking, traffic and the proximity to local bars were the main determinants in the Hempstead Town Board of Zoning Appeals' (BZA) decision Spencer Hart's application to bring Sonic Drive-in to East Meadow, according to Newsday.

After on the matter in which Hart, local business owners and residents in the community shared their takes on the proposed Sonic, which would occupy the spot formerly belonging to Rita's Ices at 1900 Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, the BZA to reject Hart's proposal on March 14.

He approval for eight variance applications, including special exceptions to install a drive-thru window and use a portion of the premise for outdoor dining, as well as variances for off-street parking.

Additionally, Hart for permission to install 24 menu board signs under two proposed canopies, install a drive-thru preview menu and regular menu board, and install a speaker and confirmation screen system for the drive-thru.

From Newsday:

The board denied the applications based on the huge shortage of parking for the proposed use, documents show, a shortage the board said could have a disastrous effect on nearby homes and businesses since patrons would try to find parking on residential streets. The board found that the study by Sonics traffic and parking expert and his testimony lacked information about parking in the lot starting at 9 p.m., shortly after which two nightclubs within the shopping center would be in operation and competing for parking spaces, documents show.

Bob Fanelli, a media relations representative for Sonic, told the Long Island Report that there was a plan in place to manage the boom in traffic that the East Meadow location might have received.

This is not necessarily the end of the line for Sonic in East Meadow, as Hart could appeal the BZA decision or submit a modified proposal. Hart's attorney, William Cohn, told Patch that his client made a decision pertaining to his course of action.

Do you think the BZA's reasoning for the rejection was fair? Tell us in the comments.

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