Southold town swiftly passed a parking ban on the North Road near controversial Vineyard 48 in Cutchogue, immediately after the first public hearing on the law during its regular session Monday night.
Neighboring residents of the winery in the audience who have repeatedly voiced concern to the board whispered a simple “thank you” to members. None participated during the hearing.
Opposing council representing Vineyard 48, who have accused the town of being a “bully,” were not present.
Without public comment, the legislation was approved unanimously.
The proposal comes in response to complaints from Cutchogue residents who say parking on Route 48 in the vicinity of Vineyard 48 has caused undue congestion, while restricting access and maneuverability.
“I’m not complaining,” said Horseshoe drive resident Bill Shipman after the meeting. “The parking restriction is unfortunate. It’s sad the town has to do this because a particular business is doing whatever they want.”
The law prohibits vehicle parking at all times along a half-mile stretch of Route 48 from the western edge of Depot Lane to the eastern edge of a private road known as Road B.
It is “no secret” the town disapproves of Vineyard 48’s business practices, Supervisor Scott Russell said prior to the meeting. The winery has been at the center of complaints regarding loud music and patrons wandering onto neighboring properties to have sex. Excessive traffic and disregard for parking regulations have also caused concern among vineyard neighbors.
Accordingly, the town believes it was necessary to impose parking and standing limitations to protect residents and visitors to the town, restrict the blocking of traffic flow and ensure the orderly use of roads within the town, as the law states.
Vineyard 48 is currently under investigation by both the town and the state liquor authority.