Vineyard 48 to take up town comments on new site plan

vineyard48The Southold Town Planning Board made one thing clear concerning Vineyard 48’s amended site plan at its work session Monday: the attorney for the winery must addresses the points and recommendations made in the board’s new staff report in order for the plan to move forward.

The amended site plan, which was introduced in March, features the creation of an overflow parking lot with 100 additional spaces and a 40-by-100-foot outdoor pavilion at the controversial Cutchogue winery.

The planning board’s staff report, which director Heather Lanza read excerpts from during Monday’s work session, is 10 pages long. In addition to giving an overview of Vineyard 48’s amended site plan, the report includes information on how space on the 14.9-acre winery is already being used and what revisions might need to be made to the site plan for it to pass, such as the addition of more handicapped spaces to the proposed overflow lot.

A portion of the report also documents various noise and quality-of-life complaints made by residents who live near Vineyard 48 against the winery.

In April, the State Liquor Authority began investigating the winery after a long list of residents complained of loud music and other disturbances.

Southold Town has also taken legal action against the vineyard, citing violations against its previously approved site plan, including exceeding maximum occupancy.

Two public hearings regarding the winery’s amended site plan were well-attended by Cutchogue residents, many of whom told the planning board the loud music and bawdy behavior of the winery’s patrons is destroying their quality of life.

Vineyard 48 owner Matthew Metz has refuted those accusations and called the town a “bully,” saying his business is being unfairly targeted by the town.

At Monday’s planning board work session, Vineyard 48 attorney Patricia Moore of Southold expressed her frustration with the town.

“You know from observing this year’s management style that my client has new management,” Ms. Moore said. “He’s been very active in trying to control everything, and quite frankly, it feels like every time we try to come in [here] in good faith to resolve the problems of the past, they’re being rehashed.”

Mr. Wilcenski told Ms. Moore the board would give her until the beginning of next week to review and return the staff report.

Vineyard 48