In response to the outcry from Cutchogue residents, the town is considering new legislation to prohibit parking on the North Road in the vicinity of controversial Vineyard 48.
On Tuesday, the Town Board scheduled an Aug. 27 public hearing on the parking ban.
It is “no secret” that the town disapproves of Vineyard 48’s business practices, Supervisor Scott Russell said after the meeting. The winery has been at the center of countless complaints, including loud music and patrons wandering onto neighboring properties and having sex in public. Excessive traffic and disregard for parking regulations have also caused concern among vineyard neighbors.
“When you have an operator causing a public safety issue something needs to be done,” Mr. Russell said.
That “something” would be to prohibit vehicle parking at all times along a half-mile stretch of County Route 48 from the western edge of Depot Lane to the eastern edge of a private road known as Road B.
Parking on Route 48 nearest Vineyard 48 has created conditions that affect public health, safety and welfare in the surrounding community, according to the draft law. The board believes these conditions have caused undue congestion, restricted on access and maneuverability and had dangerous traffic impacts, according to the draft law.
Accordingly, the town believes it necessary to impose parking and standing limitations to protect the residents of and visitors to the town, restrict the blocking of traffic flow and ensure the orderly use of roads within the town, according the proposal.
“It’s a continual problem,” Horseshoe Drive resident Bill Shipman said. “I do think it’s sad that you have to put a parking restriction on a particular area because a particular business is doing whatever they want.”
Councilman James Dinizo agreed.
“It is very hard for the town to enforce their rules when people want to just avert them knowing full well that we can’t do anything about it on the spot,” he said. “And then you people end up in the hell you’re in right now.”
The new parking restriction proposal was introduced the same day the board passed a controversial special events law, which came in response to residents’ complaints about such events — most notably at Vineyard 48 — and concern about the town’s options in addressing reported code violations.
The Aug. 27 hearing will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.