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Town Board OK's Checkers on Sunrise Highway

Neighbors complain that restaurant will cause traffic snarls and damage quality of life.

The has given the OK to build a on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa over the objections of some area residents.

The board voted 6-1 Tuesday to approve the applications by the company to allow the Checkers to be built at 5100 Sunrise Highway. Council member cast the only "no" vote.

As they did at a public hearing almost a year ago, several residents in the vicinity raised concerns about noise, garbage and additional traffic stemming from the new restaurant, which would not be unlike others in the general vicinity.

The application for a "special use permit" was filed by 5100 Sunrise Highway, LLC, the fee owner and Nassau Burger Corp., the tenant, to to operate the restaurant in a free standing building.

At the hearing last February, several neighbors told the board of late night drinking parties and general trouble-making in two parking lots separating the highway from a residential area.

Checkers wants to put up a drive-thru on one of the lots, the former site of a Hess gas station. At Tuesday's meeting, residents again raised concerns that their neighborhood's quality of life will be affected by noise, traffic and additional lighting.

In discussions with the owners and operator, Hal Mayer, the town's environmental consultant to the supervisor, said the firm was willing to make concessions to its neighbors. It agreed to strictly police its garbage, install a 6-foot high barrier fence between its parking lot and another lot that abuts the  neighborhood, and dim its lights during late night hours.

Mayer cited the town's environmental study of the project. He said the report indicates the restaurant will not "measurably change traffic patterns in the area or the character of the area," which already has several fast-food restaurants in the vicinity.

"The use is consistent with what we have up and down Sunrise Highway," Mayer said.

Macagnone, who lives in Farmingdale, seemed unconvinced. In several questions to Mayer, Macagnone expressed doubt that the restaurant would have only limited impact on area residents.

A chief concern of residents is that it will attract a rowdy late night crowd, particularly on weekends, when the restaurant is slated to be open until 2 p.m. and Mayer said Nassau County Police and the town's Public Safety patrol have agreed to keep additional watch on the area.

Macagnone questioned whether Nassau police, already under threat of closing precincts because of the county's fiscal woes, would be able to keep an eye on a single restaurant in one part of the sprawling county.

James M. January 17, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Ok Macagnone is backing the residents that are pulling the same junk complaints as the ones in Farmingdale. I wonder if he was the reason the Restaurant group on Conklin was told no. Burger King is open till 1 same as Wendy's. The residents as usual are throwing any reason and see what's sticks. Unfortunately, it was the Farmingdale representative that said no and doesn't really understand his job.
Tiffany January 18, 2012 at 03:02 PM
i cant wait! I love checkers and that open lot is an eyesore.
TheGreek January 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM
This is obviously a selfish NIMBY blockage. If not on Sunrise Highway, then where? There is no bigger, more well traveled road in the county. Let them build. If the locals didn't want late night activity, they should have bought houses in less commercial neighborhoods.
Helen January 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Location, location, location -- good for Massapequa - good for anyone who likes Checkers - and again, agree with TheGreek - location, location, location - no one made anyone buy their home.....

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