Business

Debate over Greenport B&B expansion continues

JULIE LANE PHOTO

There will be no quick resolution to the debate over whether to allow Greenport bed and breakfast establishments to apply to expand their operations from three to five rooms.

Village Board members agreed Monday night to send the proposed resolution back to code committee for further exploration. They also instructed village administrator David Abatelli to make sure all 13 village B&Bs are inspected to confirm that they comply with the existing code.

The original resolution would have allowed B&Bs with sufficient room for expansion to apply to the Planning Board for permission to rent up to five rooms. Those B&Bs would still have to provide on-site parking and comply with all other requirements set forth in the village code.

But from the time the proposal surfaced in May, neighbors of Harbor Knoll B&B on Fourth Street have besieged the Village Board with complaints about issues ranging from noise they said resulted from weddings at the site to the establishment’s booking more than eight rooms, including a separate cottage on the property.

Board members have tried very hard to separate the complaints from the code amendment, Mayor David Nyce said Monday night.

But Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said public hearings on the code amendment raised questions that the code committee needs to explore further before the full board acts on a resolution. Among the issues are whether a permit to operate a five-room B&B would stay with the property if it were sold or the new owners would be required to reapply. Other questions involve liquor licensing.

Before changing the code, the village should assure all B&B owners are in compliance with the existing code, Trustee George Hubbard said.

Only Trustee Chris Kempner indicated she would be willing to vote on the current code amendment proposal, without indicating which way she would vote.

Agreeing to send the issue back to the code committee, Mr. Nyce said he thinks it’s important to spend the necessary time to “make sure that it’s right.”

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