Compromise appears to be on the menu for Greenport restaurant owner Frank Purita and his residential neighbors.
At a lengthy May 26 Planning Board work session, Mr. Purita, owner of D’Latte at 216 Main St., promised to adhere to village codes when expanding into the former Townsend Insurance building at 218 Main St. to create Sasuke, a sushi restaurant.
Neighbors Max Brennan and Sigrid Burton, who have been critical of the plans, said they aren’t trying to stop the businessman from earning a living.
What the neighbors do want — and what Mr. Purita agreed to do — is to:
• cease music by 11 p.m. on weekends.
• close down a small seating in a rear garden behind 218 Main St. by 11 p.m.
• ensure timely pickup of garbage to avoid overflowing cans.
• keep smokers away from the southernmost part of his lot abutting another commercial property.
The planners could give Mr. Purita the go-ahead at their regular meeting on June 2.
It may be an uneasy peace, but Planning Board members are caught between a village code provision board chairwoman Lara McNeil said she doesn’t like and a desire to reach a decision that’s fair to all.
The village noise code prohibits music that can be heard on public streets, but that’s not enforced. The power to change the code rests with the Village Board. Planning Board members said their decision would contain conditions specific to Mr. Purita’s operation.
Mr. Purita could still offer music by applying for a mass assembly permit for specific nights, Ms. McNeil said.
In agreeing to the stipulations, Mr. Purita insisted that the village apply those same rules to others.
“I don’t want to hear music down the block,” he said.
One other issue — people who sit outside Mr. Purita’s businesses and move tables and chairs so they partially block the sidewalk — will be addressed by putting up railings. Ms. Burton asked that the railings be about four inches from Mr. Purita’s property line, just like the railings around the adjacent business property she owns.
Before the board finished with Mr. Purita’s application, Angela Oliveri-Deroski, owner of neighboring Sweet Indulgences, offered her own assessment of the situation.
“The only thing that’s going to make Greenport is your downtown area,” she said. “There’s a lot at stake here. We all want to do what’s right.”
Music is important to a thriving downtown area, Ms. Oliveri-Deroski added. She hires banjo player Walter McKnight to play Christmas carols in front of her store. He also plays in other venues in downtown.
Trying to do business in Greenport is difficult, Ms. Oliveri-Deroski said. “Everybody’s trying to make a living. The board has to catch up and be pro-business.”
Board members got their first look at a site plan for Eastern Long Island Hospital’s new ambulatory surgery suite and set a public hearing for Thursday, June 30, at 5 p.m.