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Planning Board approves drive-in restaurant, retail building where Sonic had been proposed

A drive-in restaurant and retail building were approved for the corner of Osborn Avenue and Route 58, across from Apple Honda, at last Thursday’s Riverhead Planning Board meeting. 

The proposal had received preliminary approval in December and now has final site plan approval. The project involves developing a vacant 1.78-acre site with a new 2,238-square-foot drive-in restaurant with 20 indoor seats and 54 outdoor seats.

The drive-in restaurant required a special permit, which it received last year. 

On the same parcel, the application calls for a 5,000-square-foot retail building, along with related parking, lighting, landscaping, stormwater management and other site improvements. 

The property was previously proposed as the site of a Sonic-drive in restaurant, but Sonic has not approved the location, officials said.

Kimberly Judd, the attorney for Sonic, said the company wants to wait until the site plan is secured before committing to the project. 

Town Planning Board members said they can only vote on a use, and not on a specific tenant.

Board member Joe Baier voted against the drive-in application. He said that having the retail and the restaurant together was an over-intensification of the site. 

Board member Ed Densieski said he agreed with Mr. Baier, but he said the town’s zoning allows the two uses. 

With board member George Nunnaro absent, the board voted 3-1, with one absence, in favor of the site plan.