Approval for soundfront winery set for Monday

02/08/2011 11:41 AM |
67 steps Vineyard just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The Kontokosta family plans to build a winery at its 67 Steps Vineyard, just west of Peconic Landing in Greenport.

Nearly one year after the Kontokosta family unveiled plans for a new winery next to Peconic Landing in Greenport, the Southold Town Planning Board is slated to decide whether or not to approve their proposal next Monday evening.

The 67 Steps Vineyard, owned by the Kontokostas’ KACE Development LLC, already operates on the property.

The proposal calls for a two-story winery building of 8,419 square feet with two mezzanine wings, set far back on the property, about 700 feet from the Soundfront bluff. Forty-two parking spaces are proposed, with an additional 96 overflow parking spaces on grass and gravel areas for special events.

The plans also call for wind and solar energy generation, including a 120-foot-high wind turbine.

Named for a nearby beach, 67 Steps Vineyard covers 60 acres that stretch from Route 48 to Long Island Sound. Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, riesling, syrah, merlot and viognier grapes have been grown on 20 acres of the property since 2004, according to its website. The grapes were first harvested in 2006 and the first wine was released in 2007. There is no winery on the property now.

The property is zoned R-80, which allows it to be subdivided into house lots of at least two acres each. In the early 1990s, the Kontokosta family requested a zone change to allow four houses per acre. The Town Board agreed, changing the zoning in late 1993, but a new board, led by members of the United Southold Party, reversed that decision in early 1994. After losing a court battle against the new board, the Kontokosta family decided to start the vineyard.

A public hearing on the winery proposal was held in September 2010.

In the fall of 2010, at the urging of town planning staff, the family hired a consultant to prepare an archeological report, in part because the area was near prehistoric foot trails of the Native American Mantoobaug tribe that connected the area’s tidal creeks. The consultant, Tracker Archeological Services, did not find any historic artifacts, according to its report in the planning board file.

KACE Development principal Michael Kontokosta and his architect, Nancy Steelman of Cutchogue, did not return phone calls this week. Ms. Steelman designed the Sparkling Pointe winery in Southold and the Pellegrini Vineyards winery building in Cutchogue.

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9 Comment

  • What a teacher does outside of work has no bearing on what his or her pay should be. Being a teachers means that you want to do what is best for the children. Most teachers make approximately$75 an hour. I can list a number of people who work many more hours for much less money and are quite content. Those same people work many hours related to their job on the “off time” and don’t whine about it. Give me a break. I am sick of listening across the country how tough teachers have it and how they can’t survive on their pay. The teachers unions need to stop seeing dollar signs and pay more attention to the quality of education our children have at graduation…believe me it isn’t much!

  • Librarian, teacher and SECURITY cut from budget so that the rest of them can get their 5% increase. The retirement portion of the budget is increasing 44%!! In the next 5 years they’re going to have to fire more so that the others can still eat their cake. It’s a sin.

  • Mr. Emmett, YOU and your colleagues should have offered to take at least a 5% cut in pay across the board and eliminated absurd co-curricular activity pay. While people in other occupations have seen their pay frozen or even reduced for several years now, SI teachers continued to get their yearly increases, plus step-increases, plus, plus … Shelter Island has at least 10 teachers whose pay is above $100,000. Not bad for only 180 days work! I’m really disappointed that our teachers are so greedy.

  • What’s the matter Gerry, you afraid you’re going to have to mow lawns again? Maybe Roni can go back to being an aspiring flight attendent that she was before you people implanted yourselves here. GREED!! Go back to where you came from!

  • Clairek, you clearly don’t know the Siller family and everything Mrs. Siller does for the school. Look in the mirror. Who are you to say such a terrible statement about someone you clearly don’t know.

  • Clairek, you clearly don’t know the Siller family and everything Mrs. Siller does for the school. Look in the mirror. Who are you to say such a terrible statement about someone you clearly don’t know.

  • Just because your clearly not happy with your life doesn’t mean you have so make others feel poorly about theirs. How old are you?

  • Southold teachers understand what it’s all about! Wish we had teachers like them.

  • I’d worry about the library before fretting about the librarian.

    From a letter to the editor, May 2008:

    “About halfway through Monday’s public budget hearing, I reached into the book bin next to my chair for a firm surface against which to write. I picked up an anthology of British poetry.
    Underneath it, complete with Dewey Decimal classification, was the charming title, from Scholastic
    Inc., “Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from
    Outer Space.” The illustration on the front is a cartoon character in jockey shorts; a brief browse
    through the book showed Captain Underpants flinging “the toilet paper of justice,” like Spiderman, to rescue himself from some predicament or another.
    I begin to suspect we do have some problems at the Shelter Island School. It’s hard to explain Captain Underpants in the library of an institution that “strive(s) each day to encourage our students to think critically [and] meet high academic expectations” as the recent newsletter proclaims.”