Hempstead Town "Grills" Bellmore White Castle Plan: Supreme Court Rebuffs Burger Restaurateur

Bellmore neighbors were pleased when Hempstead's Board of Appeals denied special permits to White Castle Systems, Inc., which the company needed to build a proposed fast food hamburger restaurant along Sunrise Highway in the tranquil bedroom community. Today, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Angie Cullin hailed a New York Supreme Court decision, which rebuffed White Castle's efforts to overturn the Board of Appeals denial.

"Councilwoman Angie Cullin and I knew that the Hempstead Town Board of Appeals was justified in denying the application associated with White Castle's plan to build a 24/7 hamburger restaurant that would have negatively impacted local homeowners," stated Murray. "We want to take this opportunity to applaud the decision of the Supreme Court in upholding the Board of Appeals decision."

On June 25, 2010 the Board of Appeals denied the applicant's request for relief from town parking restrictions and for approval of 24-hour drive-thru service in connection with a proposed hamburger restaurant at the intersection of Sunrise Highway and St. Marks Avenue in Bellmore. The Board of Appeals considered the testimony of neighbors indicating that the drive-thru "would be dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding residential community and pedestrians." The board also heard from neighbors who stated that the drive-thru would have a negative impact on adjacent home values.

"The Board of Appeals listened to neighbors who observed that 24/7 traffic noise would negatively affect their quality of life," said Cullin. "Kate Murray and I are glad that the board listened to and weighed the legitimate concerns of neighbors in denying White Castle's application."

The town officials noted that the court's decision in support of the Board of Appeals concluded that "the board rationally balanced the relevant considerations" and that White Castle System, Inc. "mischaracterizes the extensive community opposition as being insufficient to cause a denial of the application."

The Supreme Court's decision is a victory for local neighbors in Bellmore," concluded Murray. "The Board of Appeals and the courts made the right decision on the merits and the right decision for Bellmore homeowners."