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Flo's On The Go Rejected By ZBA

Proposed food truck business would have been located on Lake Street.

A proposed food truck version of Blue Point's popular  was rejected recently by the Patchogue Village Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

The rejection was publicly announced at Tuesday's Village Board of Trustees meeting, but a reason for the rejection was not given.

Patch will update when it has more information, but a April ZBA meeting regarding what would of been "Flo's On The Go" was attended by several local business owners and residents who were openly against the truck.

They cited issues such as the business not taking a traditional retail spot on Main Street and its 70 Lake Street location across from  near some residences. Some of the business owners felt that the ruling over the truck would have set a Village precedent, and said they would consider converting their businesses to a truck model to avoid costs.

Had the eatery been approved, owners David and Connor Vigliotta told Patch in April that it would of been a 18 by 7 foot truck with two to three staff members serving the majority of the Flo's menu.

Do you agree with a Flo's On The Go food truck being rejected? Vote in our poll and sound off your thoughts in the comments.

Robert F Edwards June 02, 2012 at 12:44 AM
sounds like sour grapes from the local food guys
Lee June 02, 2012 at 01:18 AM
The local businesses and area homeowners are correct. This would have set a bad precedent, it would take customers away from local restaurants and diners that sell burgers, and it would just look bad having a truck parked in a lot. That corner is the entrance to our village when cars are coming from the west. Sure it would be convenient to have Flo's yummy food right in town, but they should open a little store and not treat Patchogue like a second rate location only worthy of a truck.
John Bogack June 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Most of the opposition to this plan came from local residents who were afraid that their neighborhood would be further overwhelmed by noise and traffic. Their neighborhood is about to undergo massive change as the New Village construction project is about to start near by and will be in progress for at least two years. Plus zoning rules on this kind of business idea, a food truck, are pretty much unwritten it turns out leaving the Zoning Board without much guidance for a ruling that could have set major precedents for more trucks in other locations in the village.The Village Board of Trustees no doubt will now be asked to write those rules. Flo's is a great eatery in Blue Point, iconic really just off off Corey's beach. It could provide the same kind of food somewhere else in Patchogue Village where local residents would not feel their home values were placed at risk and their quality of life degraded. In some other location I think their business would be more than welcome. This is a victory with full credit to the Zoning Board, small that it might be, for residents. It means their rights to live their dreams of home ownership and quite enjoyment counts for something.
Karen Ferb June 07, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Code for food trucks establishing appropriate locations should be written. The 'grab and go' choices in the village are few and far between and nonexistent by the ferries or the Rider Avenue fields. People don't always have the luxury of a sit-down meal during working hours. For now, there is Lumpy's food truck at the brewery on River Avenue on weekends. Give it a a try.
Gerald Rothaus June 07, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Why do we need food trucks in Patchogue?
Robert F Edwards June 07, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I have eaten the food at Lumpy's many times and it is awesome!
David Kennedy June 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Karen, I whole-heartedly agree with you...Though I am no means a "foodie," both my wife and myself like to pretend we are, and we are very aware that Food Trucks are on the cutting edge of the culinary world right now. It's not just your "dirty water" hot dogs on the side of the highway anymore...many food trucks provide upscale, gourmet items on the go and relatively cheap...Lumpy's is good...another example is the food truck run by and adjacent to the Table & Fork Restaurant and Inn in Southold (probably Long Island's highest rated restaurant)...if you are ever travel the North Fork I highly recommend it. The Village has become a mecca for fine dinning, lets not miss out on the Food Truck revolution happening all around us
Food for Thought June 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Gerald, In the United States of America the free market decides what is a success in business or not. What Patchogue needs is not for you to decide. I suspect that if we didn't need a food truck, not only would the proposal not have come forward, but in the case that it was approved, it would have become an inevitable failure. As usual, objections from the cartel otherwise known as the Chamber of Commerce has weighed heavily on the Zoning Boards decision to reject and otherwise alter the progress offered by a free and open market place. They probably would have sued the village if it was approved anyway.
Karen Ferb June 07, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Well, Gerald, why do you think we don't need food trucks if enough people want one? I think I already explained why I and many others believe they are a good idea. Check out http://roaminghunger.com/. You can pick your city and see what and where the trucks are and what they serve. New York City has 82 trucks listed--not that I'd be in favor of anything like that number here!
Gerald Rothaus June 08, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Karen, as usual, that line of resoning is completely absurd. But I have to admit, FoodforThought (whoever that masked man or woman is) is right. This is the country of free markets. He or she makes a good point. But whether he or she likes it or not, the Chamber has a right to challenge it before the board or even in court. The same right is afforded to him or her as well. Personally I was looking forward to paper plates, cups, napkins and foil balls catching the winds of Patchogue. And as usual, I really have to ask Mr. Bogack what the heck is he is talking about. Iconic Luncheonette? Rights to live their dreams of home ownership and quite enjoyment? Ok. One more point, there was a lot of other people, not only businesses, who opposed the truck for many reasons at the zoning board meeting. Th process was as important as the free market thing he or she (Mr. os Ms. FoodForThought) alluded to.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Gerald, The Chamber may be within their rights to protest but that doesn't make their argument valid. Their contention was that "it's not fair" that they have invested in brick and mortar enterprises and that the food truck would get to go home at night. It's not within purview of any board or elected official to limit competition. This is why a so-called "master-plan" will never work. Who will decide what and how many types of businesses are allowed? Certainly not the competition...right?
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 03:45 AM
The issue was not just whether we should have a food truck but rather the location planned. Residents in the area were rightly concerned with increased traffic, noise from blaring car radios and trash from improperly disposed of food wrappers, drink containers etc etc. Additionally it would not be a pretty sight as one approached the village from that location.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 11:01 AM
You're right Jo, a vacant dusty lot looks much better. Planning future locations of certain businesses is a lot like pulling the cart before the horse. Again, who will chose the locations? Maybe you can determine what type of food will be appropriate as well.
John Bogack June 08, 2012 at 11:38 AM
As usual Mr. Rothaus have to ask you what you are talking about. Flo's by Blue Point is what I consider an iconic part of south shore living. A very nice place to eat near the bay. It's a very seasonal experience that in its own way defines south shore living. And yes, residents near by opposed the truck at the Bargain Bilge site. They were afraid their home values would decline. They were afraid of more noise and traffic. Those are facts. Businesses have a right to succeed but neighborhoods have a right to peace and quiet too. Or perhaps you have an empty lot near your home and Flo's on the Go can go right in next door if you like and that will solve everything.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Bad news John..when you buy a house next to a commercial or industrial zoned property you'd need to prove that a proposed use would cause a higher impact than the approved uses for that zone. The residents adjacent to the vacant parcel behind the bargain bilge purchased (or rented) properties adjacent to commercially zoned lots. You cant move in next to a nuisance and then complain about it. The zoning board took the easy route and decided to blame the rejection of the food truck on the lack of direction in the code. Politics at its best.
John Bogack June 08, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Food for thought here is some more food for thought. Legally who knows you may be right. Theory versus facts. We have neighborhoods adjacent to business districts. Yes they gave up some rights when they moved in, but they didn't give up all their rights. Under your theory why not crush every adjacent neighborhood in the name of a businessmen making a buck? Why not just flatten every adjacent neigbhorhood and be done with it? The reason we don't is that compromises are sought to allow businessess to open while softening negative effects on neighbors as much as is practically possible. In this case the zoning code for food trucks was virtually unwritten, the Zoning Board sent the issue back to the Board of Trustees for further direction and one day this whole issue will be revisted again no doubt. In human terms the people near this site are about to undergo massive disruption from the building at New Village and for a long time. It's no wonder they wanted to keep a bit of the disruption down to the extent that they could. I was surprised they succeeded although in my heart I know it will not last forever. Now here's some food for thought maybe it could be forever. Why not turn that unused land into a park and keep that space green? With the concentration of new housing coming near by it would be a good idea to have a place of quiet in the midst of all the noise.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Green space would be a great idea John and a few million dollars might make that possible. Laws in this country are designed to protect property owners. The parcel in question is privately held and designated commercial. If you're willing to purchase the lot and turn it into a park I'll gladly stand up for you when you submit your application to the building department. I appreciate your desire to improve the quality of life for all residents of the village, however, the real problem here is incompatible and outdated zoning (a much larger problem). Until that changes I'm afraid that we're like blood in the water to the sharks of big business.
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Food for thought Your concern for the compensation of business owners is noted. Nowhere have I noted your concern for residents. I have a second house on my property which is rented ( legal rental) How will I be compensated if I am unable to rent this property due to the unending and nerve racking noise from the surrounding clubs? In Patchogue village where e industrial zoning weaves throughout residential areas there needs to be a spirit of compromise .
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 04:34 PM
The ZBA rejected this proposal because the village has no code for food trucks. Without a code the owner of the truck would be free to operate in anyway he chose and the village would lack ordinances to curb abuses and to ameliorate negative consequences to the residents and to adjacent businesses. When the village has adopted a code for food trucks, this issue can be revisited. In this way the rights of the truck owner and the residents are protected.
John Bogack June 08, 2012 at 04:46 PM
FFT that must be some parcel of land if you think it is worth a few million dollars. Is there oil on that property? If the neighborhood wanted to spear head a movement to make that a park there could be funds available they would have to look to see what funds where actually out there. They now know what the alternative to doing nothing is. Who knows maybe Tritec might be interested in helping out too, you never know unless you ask.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The zba was actually tasked with issuing a special permit. The planning board had handled hours of operation, site plan approval, etc. The denial from zba was code for " it's your problem not ours".
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 05:15 PM
That property has been privately held and vacant for more than 25 years. I'm sure the owner would be happy with a couple of bucks. Money floating in oblivion waiting for neighborhood committees to scoop it up.......prove it.
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Food for thought The Planning Board may have established the parameters of operation, but if, after establishing his business, the truck owner failed to comply, the village, without ordinances, would have no recourse. The Planning Board does not enact ordinances. There have been many instances where business owners have failed to comply with the terms established by the Planning Board.
Food for Thought June 08, 2012 at 05:53 PM
The building inspector has been tasked with ensuring compliance with planning and zoning board determinations. In fact the special permit would have been valid for only one year and would have been subject to the conditions set forth by the planning board. Enforcement again. "The point is moot" as Jessie Jackson would say. No Flow's. The property will remain nice and quiet and blighted.
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Food for thought Just because a piece of land is vacant doesn't qualify it as blighted. And this particular piece of land is certainly not blighted. Ther is no litter, no trash, no overgrown grass etc. So, no blight Enforcement? Enforcement in the village has been inconsistent and selective. There are many examples. So it is no surprise that residents are unwilling to rely on enforcement to assure their quality of life By the way, since you seem so sure of your point of view, I wonder why you have chosen not to identify yourself.
Jo Miller June 08, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Food for Thought Just because a piece of land is vacant does not qualify it as blighted and this particular piece of land certainly does not qualify as blighted. There is no litter, no trash, no overgrown grass etc. So, no blight. Enforcement? Enforcement in the village is inconsistent and selective. So it should come as no surprise that residents are unwillling to rely on enforcement to address quality of life issues. By the way, since you seem so certain of your point of view, I wonder why you choose not to identify yourself.
Geezer July 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Little off subject but can someone tell me how much revenue the town or the county could benefit from some or one law enforcement ticketing LITTERBUGS at Taco Bell? Have you ever seen it in the a.m? Ticket them and you have a continuess flow of $$$$$$ each and every day. Why does this continue? And Taco Bell is not the only culprit 7-11 also could be a boom from litterbug tickets!
John Dukes July 30, 2012 at 06:37 PM
No different than a hot dog truck or Mister Softee...how does this affect any of the sit down restaurants in Patchogue? Cause it's convenient to grab some good food on the go? Sour grapes is all it is. And I don't wanna hear about it being the entrance of the town cause the other end of East Patchogue looks like a scene from apocalypse now getting greeted by homeless people. Let Flo's have their food truck and stop crying.

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