08/02/13 12:48pm
08/02/2013 12:48 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | The town is trying to broaden what it considers an acceptable business practice at vineyards.

Southold Town passed a law Tuesday that defines a special event at an agricultural operation. It requires all farms, bed and breakfasts or wineries to purchase a permit for any activity outside its defined usage, as outlined under town code.

On Thursday, the town took up separate legislation to broaden the definition of a winery’s permitted use — a move that upset an owner of a different type of agricultural-based business in town.

The town’s draft policy states that events such as weddings should be considered a normal business practice at wineries. If passed, vineyards would not be required to purchase a special events permit, so long as the event does not exceed its maximum occupancy.

Since the new definition does not include other agritourism businesses, those proprietors would be required to purchase a special events permit to hold similar events.

“I believe it is unconscionable to make a law like this just for wineries,” said Prudence Heston, owner of Salt Air Farm in Cutchogue. “You have put me in a completely different category than [wineries] and you have given them the advantage, just because they have chosen to grow grapes and instead of flowers. Why would you penalize me for doing a different form of agricultural?”

Before the new events law was enacted, wineries were the only agricultural operations that could apply for a special events permit; technically excluding farms or bed and breakfasts from hosting large-scale events such as weddings.

“The events legislation that we passed the other night, Prudence, was designed for [business owners like] you to legally have special events, because the [previous] law did not,” said Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell.

A potential compromise could be a change of the town’s farm stand code that dictates the permitted uses of farms and bed and breakfasts, the supervisor said.

“We need clarity for Prudence’s sake,” Mr. Russell said. “We have to be able to address those concerns, but I don’t think you can address it all under one blanket law.”

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07/30/13 10:26pm
07/30/2013 10:26 PM

After a half hour of contentious debate, the Southold Town Board adopted a special events law to the “tremendous disappointment” of the Long Island Wine Council.

Members of the agricultural community criticized the draft law during a public two weeks ago when speakers offered numerous suggestions to amend the policy they said unfairly burdens businesses with fees and penalties for holding large events. Opponents of the bill said they were blindsided by the board’s decision to vote without incorporating any of their suggestions.

“The Town of Southold has chosen to burden the small businessman with time consuming applications and fees and to threaten them with burdensome fines and penalties,” said Sal Diliberto of the Long Island Wine Council. “The town should be doing things to benefit the industry, not limiting the ability of that industry to function in today’s difficult economic times.”

The law gives the town more control over events held at wineries and other properties and prevents an unlimited amount of special events from taking place at any one location. It would require a permit for any gathering that exceeds a building’s occupancy or parking capacity or is otherwise prohibited by the property’s zoning. A permit would also be required for events involving the closing of a public street, the use of amplified sound, the sale of food or merchandise, the placement of portable toilets and a number of other circumstances.

Fines for violators range from $500 to $5,000.

The agricultural community was not alone its opposition. For the first time, councilman Chris Talbot spoke out and voted against the law.

“There are changes that need to be made and I’m not supporting it,” he said. “The wine industry has grown this area. So many people come out here and spend their money. We are reaping all the benefits of these wineries and farms and for government, a Republican government, to throw another hurdle in the way of these businesses that are struggling to survive… I just have to say no to this law.”

The measure passed 5-1 with Mr. Talbot voting no.

Read more in Thursday’s issue of The Suffolk Times in both our print and electronic editions.

07/19/13 11:00am
07/19/2013 11:00 AM

The Town Board’s attempt to pass two separate pieces of legislation dictating the use of wineries has proven to be a tricky task.

The already controversial special events law draft was expected to be the focus of a Tuesday night public hearing, but the issue became muddied by a separate proposed policy change amending the town’s legal definition of a winery.

Critics argued that the two pieces of legislation should be combined.

“It important when we look at the proposed law today to realize it’s only half a law,” said Sal Diliberto of the Long Island Wine Council. “We are being asked to look at a law that incorporates another proposed law, which is not here today.”

The special events law seeks to give the town more control over events held at wineries and other properties. It would require a permit for any gathering that exceeds a building’s occupancy or parking capacity or is otherwise prohibited by the property’s zoning. A permit would also be required for events involving the closing of a public street, the use of amplified sound, the sale of food or merchandise, the placement of portable toilets and a number of other circumstances.

At the same time, the town is considering revisiting the code language on what constitutes a winery and what activities are permitted there.

During their morning work session board members requested clarification from the code committee on town zoning polices on allowable uses for wineries and the penalties for violations.

Current regulations state that wineries should primarily sell products made from grapes grown on site and have a minimum of 10 acres dedicated to vineyards or other agricultural purposes.

Supervisor Scott Russell said the goal of redefining the usage language is to expand what’s considered normal business practice and thereby allow vineyards to hold events such as weddings without a special events permit.

“We don’t want people to think they need a special events permit when they have a four-piece band come in on a Saturday and end up having hundreds of people showing up,” Mr. Russell said after the meeting. “That is not a special event. That is just a good day.”

The special events law and the winery use review come in response to residents’ complaints about such events — most notably at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue — and concern about the town’s options in addressing code violations.

Some critics said separating the two pieces of legislation would have unwelcome consequences for businesses other than wineries.

“In theory, the bill would include yard sales and lemonade stands as special events,” said Marilyn Marks, owner of Shorecrest Bed & Breakfast in Southold. “If the board does not change the legislation regarding custom-driven events like weddings, it will be virtually impossible for [B&B] owners to run those types of events. It needs to be clearer.”

The draft states that the permit requirement does not apply to occasional private events held on residential properties.

This not the first time the proposed law has been called confusing. In the past, critics said the town failed to clearly define what qualifies as a special event, forcing organizers of routine events to undergo burdensome permit procedures.

A previous version of the code change was shelved last year when representatives of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, which has the power to overturn local laws it believes curtail agricultural activities, found the original events draft did indeed place undue restrictions on farming. This week town attorney Martin Finnegan said that state agency supports the revised proposal.

The less restrictive draft continues to draw fire from winery operators who say it would limit the events they could sponsor and thereby decrease the area’s agritourism business.

“This is certainly better than the draft you had before,” said Steve Bate, executive director of the Long Island Wine Council. “We still have concerns. We hope we can come up with some kind of compromise that allows us flexibility.”

Mr. Bate requested omitting a piece of the legislation that would prevent property owners from acquiring a new special events permit if they are the subject of an unresolved violation action.

He also asked that applications for special events be reviewed within 30 days to assure that event scan be properly marketed, and removing the $250 fee for applying submitted less than 60 days in advance of an event.

“That is an exorbitant fee for a small winery should an opportunity come up in less than 60 days,” he said. “It’s unfair.”

The board tabled the special events law.

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07/16/13 12:00pm
07/16/2013 12:00 PM

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said that ‘special events’ held every weekend at area farms and vineyards should not be classified as special events.

The public will have its chance to weigh in on Southold Town’s long-awaited special events permit law tonight.

The proposed laws come in response to residents’ complaints about large-scale events — most notably at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue — and concern about the town’s options in addressing code violations.

The law would require a permit for any gathering that exceeds a building’s occupancy or parking capacity, or is prohibited by zoning. A permit would also be required for an event that involved the closing of public streets, the use of amplified sound, the sale of food or merchandise and the placement of portable toilets.

In the past, critics have said the town has failed to clearly define what a special event is, forcing organizers of routine events to undergo burdensome permit procedures. Opponents also argue that limiting the events would decrease agritourism in the area. The Long Island Farm Bureau and Long Island Wine Council are among the groups that have expressed concern about the code changes.

The public hearing is tonight at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

[email protected]

04/06/11 4:05pm
04/06/2011 4:05 PM

At the wineries
Diliberto Winery, Jamesport
• Wine cellar tour & barrel tasting, Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m. and noon. $15, reservations required.
• Saturday Afternoon in Napoli, Saturday, April 9. Pizza demo and Neapolitan songs.
• Notte di Sabato, Saturday, April 9, 6-9 p.m. Live music; bring food.
• Pasta & Puccini, Sunday, April 10, 2 p.m. Homemade ravioli pasta demo and live opera singing. Reservations recommended.

Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
• Live Music: Bruce McDonald, Saturday, April 9, 2-6 p.m.
• Live Music: Rick Rempe, Sunday, April 10, 2-6 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard, Cutchogue
• Friday Night Flights, Friday, April 8, 5-7:30 p.m., happy hour with live music by Ev Corwin.
• Winemaker’s Walk, Saturday, April 9, 1 p.m.; tour of winery and production facility. Fee $20. RSVP.

Clovis Point, Cutchogue
• Barrel Tasting: Saturday & Sunday, April 9 & 10. Fee $5.

Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue
• Open Mic Night: Thursday, April 7, 6-9 p.m.
• Live Music: Caroline Doctorow, Saturday, April 9, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Chris Hurley, Sunday, April 10, 2-4 p.m.

Macari Vineyards, Mattituck
• Barrel tasting and cellar tour: Saturday, April 9, 1 and 3 p.m. Fee $20. RSVP.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
• ‘Vines and Canines’ Vineyard Walk: Saturday, April 9, 11 a.m. 2-5 p.m.
• Live Music: East End Trio, Saturday, April 9, 2-5 p.m.
• Live Music: To be announced, Sunday, April 10, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Osprey’s Dominion, Peconic
• Live Music: Woody Mack, Saturday, April 9, 1-5 p.m.

Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
• Live Music: Paul Helbig, Saturday, April 9, 2-6 p.m.

Shinn Estate Vineyards, Mattituck
• Vineyard Walk, with Barbara Shinn, Saturday & Sunday, April 9 & 10, 1:30 p.m. $12.50. RSVP.
• Barrel Tasting, Saturday & Sunday, April 9 & 10, 2:30 or 3:30 p.m. $20. Reservations recommended.

These are events that do not meet Times/Review Newspapers’ requirements for calendar listings.

03/31/11 11:55am
03/31/2011 11:55 AM

At the wineries
Diliberto Winery, Jamesport
• Wine cellar tour & barrel tasting, Saturday, April 2, 11 a.m. and noon. $15, reservations required.
• Saturday Afternoon in Napoli, Saturday, April 2. Pizza demo and Neopolitan songs.
• Notte di Sabato, Saturday, April 2, 6-9 p.m. Live music; bring food.
• Pasta & Puccini, Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m. Homemade farfalle pasta demo and live opera singing. Reservations recommended.

Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
• Live Music: Johnny Kroo, Saturday, April 2, 2-6 p.m.
• Live Music: To be announced, Sunday, April 3, 2-6 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard, Cutchogue
• Friday Night Flights, Friday, April 1, 5-7:30 p.m., happy hour with live music.
• Winemaker’s Walk, Saturday, April 2, 1 p.m.; tour of winery and production facility. Fee $20. RSVP.

Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue
• Live Music: Take 3, Saturday, April 2, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: The East End Trio, Sunday, April 3, 1-5 p.m.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
• Live Music: Keith Maguire, Saturday, April 2, 2-5 p.m.

Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
• Live Music: Robert Bruey, Saturday, April 2, 1-5 p.m.

Osprey’s Dominion, Peconic
• Live Music: Magee Brothers, Saturday, April 2, 1-5 p.m.

Laurel Lakes Vineyard, Laurel
• Live Music: Liza Coppola, Sunday, April 3, 1-5 p.m.

Shinn Estate Vineyards, mattituck
• Vineyard Walk, with Barbara Shinn, Saturday & Sunday, April 2 & 3, 1:30 p.m. $12.50. RSVP.
• Barrel Tasting, Saturday & Sunday, April 2 & 3, 2:30 or 3:30 p.m. $20. Reservations recommended.
• Complimentary tasting for Southold and Riverhead town residents, once per month, through April 1.

These are events that do not meet Times/Review Newspapers’ requirements for calendar listings.

03/23/11 3:43pm
03/23/2011 3:43 PM

At the wineries
Diliberto Winery, Jamesport
• Pizza in the Piazza, Saturday, March 26, 1-5 p.m.
• Notte di Sabato, Saturday, March 26, 6-9 p.m. Live music; bring food.

Sparkling Pointe, Southold
• Live Music: Al and Nancy, Saturday, March 26, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Take 3, Sunday, March 27, 2-5 p.m.

Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
• Live Music: Rob Koenig, Saturday, March 26, 2-6 p.m.
• Live Music: Bob Blatchely, Sunday, March 27, 2-6 p.m.

Corey Creek Vineyards, Southold
• Twilight Thursday Live Music: Earthtones, Thursday, March 24, 5-9 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard, Cutchogue
• Friday Night Flights, Friday, March 25, 5:-7:30 p.m., happy hour with live music by Ray Penney.
• Winemaker’s Walk, Saturday, March 26, 1 p.m.; tour of winery and production facility. Fee $20. RSVP.

Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue
• Live Music: Caroline Doctorow, Saturday, March 26, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Chris Hurley, Sunday, March 27, 2-4 p.m.

Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
• Live Music: Sultans of Swat, Saturday, March 26, 2-6 p.m.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
• Vines and Canines Vineyard Walk, Saturday, March 26, 11 a.m.
• Live Music: Nina Et Cetera, Saturday, March 26, 2-5 p.m.

Duck Walk Vineyards, Southold
• Live Music: Paula Atherton, Saturday, March 26, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Paula Atherton, Sunday, March 27, 1-5 p.m.

Raphael Vineyard, peconic
• Live Music: Randy & the Rainbows, Saturday, March 26, 8-10 p.m.

Laurel Lakes Vineyard, Laurel
• Live Music: Liza Coppola, Saturday, March 26, 2 p.m.

Shinn estate vineyards, mattituck
• Vineyard Walk, with Barbara Shinn, Saturday-Sunday, March 26-27, 1:30 p.m., RSVP.
• Complimentary tasting for Southold and Riverhead town residents, once per month, through April 1.

These are events that do not meet Times/Review Newspapers’ requirements for calendar listings.

03/16/11 11:03am
03/16/2011 11:03 AM

At the wineries
Diliberto Winery, Jamesport
• Pizza in the Piazza, Saturday, March 19, 1-5 p.m.
• Notte di Sabato, Saturday, March 19, 6-9 p.m. Live music; bring food.
• Pasta & Puccini, Sunday, March 20, 2 p.m., homemade gnocchi pasta-making demo and live opera arias and duets.

Sparkling Pointe, Southold
• Live Music: EQ Jazz, Saturday, March 19, 1-5 p.m.

Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
• Live Music: Ahmad Ali Duo, Saturday, March 19, 2-6 p.m.
• Live Music: George Cork Maul, Sunday, March 20, 2-6 p.m.

Osprey’s dominion, peconic
• Tribute to Elvis: Southbound, Saturday, March 19, 3-5 p.m.

Corey Creek Vineyards, Southold
• Twilight Thursday Live Music: Earthtones, Thursday, March 24, 5-9 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard, Cutchogue
• Friday Night Flights, Friday, March 18 5:-7:30 p.m., happy hour with live music by Grant Werner.
• Winemaker’s Walk, Saturday, March 19, 1 p.m.; tour of winery and production facility. Fee $20. RSVP.

Paumanok Vineyards, Aquebogue
• Live Music: Serenade Duo, Saturday, March 19, 2-5 p.m.

Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue
• Live Music: The 2 Dons, Saturday, March 19, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Bryce Larsen, Sunday, March 20, 1-5 p.m.

Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
•  Live Music: Jay Dorsa, Saturday, March 19, 2-6 p.m.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
• Long Island Authors Group book signing, Sunday, March 20, noon-4 p.m.

Shinn estate vineyards, mattituck
• Complimentary tasting for Southold and Riverhead town residents, once per month, through April 1.

Winterfest Jazz On the Vine
• Winterfest 2011: The East End Arts Council presents a lineup of premium jazz performances at the 4th Annual Long Island Winterfest, which runs weekends through March 20th across the East End. The program features renowned jazz musicians, local and otherwise, performing at winery tasting rooms and other venues every weekend afternoon over the six-week period. For more information and a schedule of performances, visit www.liwinterfest.com.

Movie & Music
• Pianist A.F. Wargo performs a medley of Broadway classics, Saturday, March 19, 1 p.m. with a four-course lunch ($20) created by Roman and Florentine chef Myrian Montero following at 1:30, with screening of 2009 HBO “Grey Gardens” movie, at The Green Earth Café des Artistes, 50 E. Main St., Riverhead. RSVP: 369-2233.

These are events that do not meet Times/Review Newspapers’ requirements for calendar listings.

03/09/11 4:23pm
03/09/2011 4:23 PM

At the wineries
Diliberto Winery, Jamesport
• Notte di Sabato, Saturday, March 12, 6-9 p.m. Live music; bring food.
• Pasta & Puccini, Sunday, March 13, 2-5 p.m., homemade tagliatelle pasta-making demo and live opera arias and duets.

Sparkling Pointe, Southold
• Live Music: Al and Nancy, Saturday, March 12, 1-5 p.m.

Jason’s Vineyard, Jamesport
• Live Music: George Barry, Saturday, March 12, 2-6 p.m.
• Live Music: Alyson Faith, Sunday, March 13, 2-6 p.m.

Corey Creek Vineyards, Southold
• Twilight Thursday Live Music: Bryce Larson, Saturday, March 10, 5-9 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard, Cutchogue
• Friday Night Flights, Friday, March 11, 5:-7:30 p.m., happy hour with live music by Ray Penney.
• Winemaker’s Walk, Saturday, March 12, 1 p.m.; tour of winery and production facility. Fee $20. RSVP.
• Live Music: Nina Bianchi, Saturday, March 12, 1-3 p.m.

Paumanok Vineyards, Aquebogue
• Live Music: Serenade Duo, Saturday, March 12, 2-5 p.m.

Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue
• Live Music: The East End Trio, Saturday, March 12, 1-5 p.m.
• Live Music: Southold Slim Sidewalk Stompers, Sunday, March 13, 1-5 p.m.

Sherwood House Vineyards, Jamesport
•  Live Music: Robert Bruey, Saturday, March 12, 2-6 p.m.

Martha Clara Vineyards, Riverhead
• Live Music: Knock Na Gow Irish traditional and contemporary music, Saturday, March 12, 1-4 p.m.
• St. Patrick’s Day Irish ‘Dance Out’: Mulvihill Lynch Dance School, Saturday, March 12, 2-3 p.m.

Shinn estate vineyards, mattituck
• Complimentary tasting for Southold and Riverhead town residents, once per month, through April 1.

Winterfest Jazz On the Vine
• Winterfest 2011: The East End Arts Council presents a lineup of premium jazz performances at the 4th Annual Long Island Winterfest, which runs weekends through March 20th across the East End. The program features renowned jazz musicians, local and otherwise, performing at winery tasting rooms and other venues every weekend afternoon over the six-week period. For more information and a schedule of performances, visit www.liwinterfest.com.

Book presentation
• Jennifer Chiaverini, ‘The Union Quilters,’ Friday, March 11, 6:30 p.m., Hotel Indigo East End, 1830 West Main Street, Riverhead. 369-2200.

These are events that do not meet Times/Review Newspapers’ requirements for calendar listings.