The All Star drives in plans for a new sign – finally

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Designs for a sign that was approved for The All Star.
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Designs for a sign that was approved for The All Star.

After a few trips up to the plate, The All Star finally drove home a plan for a sign in front of its building.

The Riverhead Town Zoning Board of Appeals approved the bowling alley/restaurant’s request for a new sign last Thursday night after the applicant withdrew all of its previous requests for variances and just went with a sign that meets town code.

“We’ve caved in on everything else,” said Chris Smith, one of the owners of the business.

The All Star, which does not have the word “bowling” in its name, had originally sought variances to have a sign that the town said was 96 square feet, instead of the maximum permitted size of 32 square feet.

All Star owner Jeff Rimland said that sign, which was a large bowling pin and bowling ball, was not being measured corrected by the town because the town was including “air” around the ball and pin toward the 96 square-foot calculation.

The All Star’s original ZBA application also sought variances to allow the sign to be 16 feet high, instead of the maximum height of 15 feet permitted by the Town Code, and they also sought to have a phone number on the sign, which the town also doesn’t allow.

Mr. Smith told the ZBA at earlier meetings that they wanted a sign that would let people know it’s a bowling alley, because they think people don’t realize that. But at the same time, they have said they don’t want to put the word “bowling” in their name, because there are other things at the site, too, like a restaurant and game room.

Their last request was to have a sign with removable letters, so they could change the message for different occasions like Christmas or New Year’s Day, Mr. Smith said.

He said there are a number of similar signs on the same road with removable letters.

Those signs existed before zoning, and as such, are allowed to stay, ZBA member Otto Wittmeier said.

“But they are all over the place,” Mr. Smith said.

“We just can’t condone something that’s wrong and isn’t being enforced by code enforcement,” ZBA chairman Fred McLaughlin responded.

But after whispering among themselves at last Thursday’s meeting, ZBA attorney Scott DeSimone eventually came back with a decision that said that “a sign with removable letters is not prohibited” by the town code.

The ZBA voted 4-0 to approve the sign allowing removable letters, with ZBA member Leroy Barnes absent.