SMITHTOWN - Smithtown residents say a local restaurant has bitten off more than it can chew by expanding its parking lot without permission, and ruining their quality of life in the process.
A few months ago, Insignia Steakhouse cleared 50 feet of land on the back of its property to expand its parking lot by about 50 spots without getting the town's approval. Now, neighbors are worried about possible flooding and complaining of noise.
The Town of Smithtown has given the restaurant a summons, but Insignia has filed an appeal and asked for a variance. Town Supervisor Pat Vecchio says the Planning Department is trying to work with the restaurant on a compromise about the parking problem.
However, the owner of Insignia, restaurateur Tony Scotto, says he desperately needs the parking, and he's willing to do anything to keep it, including putting up a barrier wall.
The Smithtown Town Board will discuss the restaurant's parking lot variance at a March 23 meeting.