2012 Top Stories No. 2: Vineyard 48 dance party controversy

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Southold police investigating a complaint against Vineyard 48 this summer.

After a raucous summer of 2011 at Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue, Southold Town has been embroiled for much of this year in litigation in an attempt to keep the vineyard from having loud DJ dance parties.

The battle began in early May, when Southold’s Zoning Board of Appeals received special event permit applications for nearly every weekend this summer, which were all denied. The town was granted a restraining order prohibiting DJ Dance Parties on May 24, after the vineyard held the parties without permits.

But neighbors have continued to complain all summer of traffic nightmares at the Route 48 entrance to the vineyard, and of the drunk patrons of the vineyard who roam through their residential areas. One couple was even caught by a homeowner on camera having sex in his backyard in the middle of the afternoon.

Town police said the noise levels at the vineyard declined as the summer wore on, and the vineyard stopped advertising dancing and put tables in the spaces where the dance parties had been held. By November, the town had tacked on a prohibition on excess parking at the site in an attempt to quell the traffic concerns.

Vineyard 48 has maintained that it is complying with both the original court order and the parking requirements in an effort to be a better neighbor.


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