Court Decision Marks Major Victory for Hempstead Town in Blocking a “Las Vegas Style” Cabaret From Opening in Wantagh

A decision handed down by New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, marks another major victory for Hempstead Town, as well as the Wantagh and Seaford communities, in its fight to keep a “Las Vegas Style” cabaret from opening at 3500 Sunrise Highway, next to a residential neighborhood. The Court of Appeals has rejected a motion to review a February 13, 2014 Supreme Court, Appellate Division decision that unanimously affirmed the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals’ denial of the cabaret permit in 2011. 

This decision denies Green 2009, the property owners more commonly referred to as “Billy Dean’s,” the ability to open a cabaret at the Wantagh location. Neighbors long voiced their concerns about the potential for traffic and parking congestion on residential streets. What’s more, neighbors expressed distaste for website advertising that depicted “Las Vegas-style” entertainment planned at the proposed site adjacent to homes.

“I am pleased and gratified that the Court of Appeals has rejected any further review of Green 2009’s legal efforts to site a “Las Vegas-style cabaret” in Wantagh, adjacent to a lovely residential neighborhood,” Murray said. “The Court of Appeals was rock solid on the law, and the decision does the ‘right thing’ by area homeowners.”

The concerns of neighbors were reflected in the actions of town officials, led by Murray, along with Councilwoman Angie Cullin and Councilman Gary Hudes, who spearheaded the effort to protect the quality-of-life of the residential neighborhood.

“I would like to thank a number of people who were very effective in the fight to preserve the residential character of this Wantagh neighborhood,” Murray said. “In particular, community advocate Kevin Milano and former Counsel to the Town Board Mike Venditto were important forces in this fight. They rallied neighbors, researched the law and were tenacious in the effort to preserve Wantagh as a great place to live.”

Prior to his current position as Nassau County legislator, Mike Venditto was Hempstead Town’s lead attorney on the matter in 2011 as it vigorously battled against Green 2009’s attempts to overturn the Board of Appeals’ decision in court. “From the beginning, our team of attorneys fought hard to protect the character of the residential neighborhood,” Venditto said. “I’m ecstatic that the court has once again ruled in favor of Hempstead Town and the neighbors of Wantagh and Seaford.” 

“This is a victory for Hempstead Town, as well as Wantagh and Seaford neighbors,” Cullin stated. “The decision of the state’s highest court affirms our efforts to preserve the suburban character of this wonderful community,” Hudes added.

After the Town’s Board of Appeals denied Green 2009’s cabaret permit back in 2011, the Hempstead Town Attorney’s Office aggressively fought the company’s attempts to overturn the Board of Appeals’ decision in court. The court’s denial of an appeal signifies Hempstead Town’s third major court victory in its fight against the proposed cabaret. A New York Supreme Court decision in October of 2011 upheld the Town Board of Appeals’ right to deny the cabaret permit. Bolstering this decision, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the lower court ruling on February 13, 2014.

“This victory is a symbol of how government and residents can work together to protect the community,” Murray said. “This is the wrong place for a cabaret, and the courts have affirmed that thanks to our team effort. I thank the neighbors of Wantagh and Seaford for their hard work and dedication in protecting the quality-of-life of their communities.”