Featured Story
11/02/18 6:03am
11/02/2018 6:03 AM

The fate of an Orient home slated for demolition remains in limbo until the Southold Historic Preservation Commission submits an opinion to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The homeowners of the 1,827-square-foot home in Orient’s historic district have proposed tearing it down to replace it with a 3,341-square-foot home. READ

Featured Story
06/10/16 6:00am
06/10/2016 6:00 AM

Paul Pawlowski

The private sports facility proposed for Mattituck was dealt an unexpected blow last week when the chairman of the Southold Town Planning Board wrote a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeals questioning whether the facility would fall under the allowable use as a membership club.  READ

12/03/15 6:54pm
12/03/2015 6:54 PM

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An owner of Southold Farm + Cellar — whose business has been in limbo for months after his family closed it voluntarily and then opened back up on a limited schedule not long after — told town officials he would accept certain restrictions on his small winery as part of any approval to reopen given by the Zoning Board of Appeals. READ

02/06/15 4:00pm
02/06/2015 4:00 PM
The United Methodist Church in Cutchogue, built around 1928, went on the market last year. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

The United Methodist Church in Cutchogue, built around 1928, went on the market last year. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Watching a historic church or meeting hall be torn down to make space for a “McMansion” is something Leslie Weisman, chair of the Southold Town Board of Zoning Appeals, doesn’t want to think about.

“It’d be tragic to lose them,” she said at a code committee meeting last week. “They give us a sense of being in New England.”  (more…)

01/16/15 12:00pm
01/16/2015 12:00 PM
Developer Nick Paleos of Nickart Realty Corp. in Baldwin said the two homes going up along Route 48 near Town Beach in Southold will be finished by July. But they're not for sale. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Developer Nick Paleos of Nickart Realty Corp. in Baldwin said the two homes going up along Route 48 near Town Beach in Southold will be finished by July. But they’re not for sale. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

People driving along Route 48 in Southold have taken notice of construction taking place across the street from Town Beach. Could it be the makings of a hotel? A restaurant?

Not quite.

Developer Nick Paleos of Nickart Realty Corp. in Baldwin said the property, which is located 900 feet west of Bayberry Lane on the southern site of Route 48, is the site of two new homes.  (more…)

08/08/14 8:00am
08/08/2014 8:00 AM
A stop-work order has been issued at the Showalter Farms property on Main Road in Mattituck, where this barn was resided and another pre-fab barn was delivered before the owners received building permits or site plan approval, town officials said.

A stop-work order has been issued at the Showalter Farms property on Main Road in Mattituck, where this barn was resided and another pre-fab barn was delivered before the owners received building permits or site plan approval, town officials said.

If Thursday’s public hearing before the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals is any indication, Showalter Farms’ proposal to open a riding academy on Main Road in Mattituck might take longer to receive approvals than it once seemed(more…)

11/25/13 12:00pm
11/25/2013 12:00 PM
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A proposal to allow outside guests to eat at the Blue Inn in East Marion has local community association members concerned.

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A proposal to allow outside guests to eat at the Blue Inn in East Marion has local community association members concerned.

Starting in June, the restaurant at the Blue Inn in East Marion will be able to serve food to outside guests.

That’s because the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals last week granted a special exception for the restaurant to expand its food service. Previously, the Blue Inn was permitted to serve food and drinks only to guests at the year-round motel.

The exemption, which initially did not sit well with nearby residents, was approved with more than a dozen operating conditions, including:

• The restaurant can only open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through Labor Day.

• No outdoor music can be played after 9 p.m. and the bar needs to close at 11 p.m.

• Small events are also permitted until 9 p.m.

• The restaurant is subject to a 48-person occupancy limit.

• A parking attendant must be hired to manage traffic.

• The restaurant cannot be advertised.

If current owner Sam Glass were to sell the motel, a future owner would have to refi le for a special exception to open the restaurant to the public, according to the ZBA.

The decision comes after three months of public hearings on the proposal. In its decision, the ZBA stated “the safety, health, welfare, comfort, convenience or order of the town will not be adversely affected by the proposed use and its location. The terms agreed to by the applicant and the Town of Southold are designed to protect and promote the peaceful coexistence of the motel and the residential properties in the neighborhood.”

The list of conditions comes in response to concerns from members of the East Marion Community Association.

Neighbors said the new plan is reminiscent of concerns they had about the motel under its previous ownership, when the restaurant was also open to the public. In a letter sent to the ZBA in mid-September, neighbors Joseph Zizzo and Maria Capotorto said the motel functioned like an “illegally constructed outdoor nightclub” under the previous owner, who sold the motel to Mr. Glass more than two years ago.

Activities at the motel inspired the East Marion Community Association to lead the push to pass Southold Town’s first noise ordinance nearly three years ago.

In a statement Monday, the association said it’s pleased with the ZBA’s decision.

“The East Marion Community Association applauds the Southold Town ZBA for its diligence in embracing the concerns expressed in our letter to them regarding The Blue Inn and future business development in East Marion,” said EMCA board member Jackie McKee. “In granting The Blue Inn’s request for special exemption, the board has incorporated conditions for compliance into the permit which address the concerns of our community while offering more latitude to the owner for increasing revenue. We trust that, in the spirit of community, Mr. Glass will honor those conditions.”

Mr. Glass said opening the restaurant to the public is necessary to sustain the business and he’s pleased with the board’s decision.

“I am grateful [the ZBA] took the time to read our application and the testimonials,” he said. “I was quite happy to hear about it because we need to have a restaurant. We want the neighbors and the community to be able to attend and to be happy with it.”

Mr. Glass said he is currently in the process of finding a part-time chef and designing an affordable menu.

[email protected]

10/18/13 10:30am
10/18/2013 10:30 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | A proposal to allow outside guests to eat at the Blue Inn in East Marion has local community association members concerned.

The Blue Inn in East Marion is hoping to open its restaurant to outside guests but the people who live closest to the motel say they aren’t happy about that plan.

Blue Inn owner Sam Glass, an attorney from Hempsted, has requested a special exception from the Southold Town Zoning Board of Appeals to expand service at the current restaurant to outside guests. Currently, the Blue Inn is permitted to serve food and drinks only to guests of the year-round motel.

Under the new plan, Mr. Glass is proposing to open the restaurant to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through Labor Day. No outdoor music would be played after 9 p.m. and the bar would close at 11 p.m., according to the application. Small events would also be permitted until 9 p.m., under the proposal.

It’s a plan that does not sit well with nearby residents.

“Our priority is to maintain East Marion as a quiet and peaceful hamlet,” said Anne Murray, vice president of the East Marion Community Association. “The town needs to be careful when weighing [the needs of the] business and community.”

Neighbors said the new plan is reminiscent of concerns they had about the motel under its previous ownership, when the restaurant was open to the public. In a letter sent to the ZBA in mid-September, neighbors Joseph Zizzo and Maria Capotorto said the motel functioned like an “illegally constructed outdoor nightclub” under the previous owner, who sold the motel to Mr. Glass more than two years ago.

The letter goes on to recount instances of drunken guests arguing and wandering into neighboring yards.

“It was a torturous time for East Marion,” Ms. Murray said.

The community association’s concerns about the motel helped lead the push to pass Southold Town’s first noise ordinance nearly three years ago.

In a 2011 interview with The Suffolk Times, Mr. Glass said he had no knowledge of the controversy when he purchased The Blue Inn. He could not be reached for comment for this story.

In a letter to the ZBA last month, he said he was also unaware that an agreement he signed with the town in 2011, which categorized the restaurant as an accessory use to the motel, would not allow it to be open to the public.

Mr. Glass said in the same letter that opening the restaurant to the public is necessary to sustain the business.

“Only having 29 rooms does not allow enough guests to dine with us to keep the restaurant active,” he wrote. “It has been our experience that guests alone will not suffice. We need local support.”

Mr. Glass said the request for a special exception is meant to help keep the business afloat, not transform the property into a bar scene.

Presently, The Blue Inn’s restaurant has a 48-person capacity and Mr. Glass said he doesn’t intend to have more diners than that at any time.

Still, the East Marion Community Association is not convinced the past won’t repeat itself.

Members believe opening the restaurant to the public would increase traffic, late night activities and noise, all of which they feel are inappropriate for the residential hamlet.

While recognizing that the town has received no formal complaints regarding the Blue Inn since it’s been owned by Mr. Glass, members say that doesn’t guarantee it would remain that way should the restaurant be opened to the public.

They said the quiet installation of a tiki bar is a sign that things are about to change at the motel.

“Once Mr. Glass gets a taste of the revenue from the bar, which promises to be lucrative, it will be very difficult for him to turn away paying customers who just want to stop in for a drink,” East Marion resident Joseph Zizzo told the ZBA. “It would not be in his interests as a businessman.”

The current application before the ZBA calls for enclosing the existing outdoor patio with netting or plastic covering to protect guests from insects and inclement weather, while surrounding the existing deck with a temporary three-and-a-half foot wall so that people will not slip off.

A parking attendant would also be hired to manage traffic generated by patrons, Mr. Glass told the ZBA.

If he were to sell the restaurant, a future owner would have to refile for a special exception if they wanted to open the restaurant to the public year-round, said Vicki Toth, assistant to the ZBA.

The board closed the public hearing last week and expects to make a decision on the application in early November.

[email protected]