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Village issues notice of violation after pop-up concert last month

Greenport Village has issued a notice of violation to the North Fork Art Collective, saying that the pop-up concerts held at the Front Street gallery on Dec. 16 took place without the required permits. 

The concerts, which featured three artists, were organized by Sofar Sounds, a live-music company that hosts “intimate shows” at secret locations featuring acts that aren’t identified until they take the stage. It was Sofar Sounds’ first event on Long Island.

Followers of Sofar Sounds’ events are alerted whenever a concert is planned near them, and can apply online for up to six tickets at least five days before the event. If they receive the tickets, however, they aren’t told the concert location until the day before, and don’t know who will perform until they get to the event, according to the Sofar Sounds website.

But according to village administrator Paul Pallas, the concert in Greenport needed a permit from the village.

The issue arose at last Thursday’s village Planning Board meeting, during discussion of North Fork Art Collective’s application to relocate to 15 Front St., a few doors east of its current headquarters at 19 Front St.

Founder Kara Hoblin confirmed that the North Fork Art Collective received a summons and she said she’s currently working with village officials to resolve that.

She said they didn’t know permits were needed because the concert was considered a private event, the building’s occupancy limits were not exceeded and the collective didn’t sell any tickets.

“Somebody did,” Mr. Pallas said. “If somebody sells a ticket and you go to the event, it’s not private.”

Village planning consultant Glynis Berry said that there are different requirements for a concert, as opposed to an art gallery, when it comes to occupancy limitations and the number of bathrooms.

The North Fork Art Collective will be subject to a public hearing before the Planning Board at its Jan. 25 meeting, which starts at 4 p.m. Another business, Crinoline Fashion Boutique Ltd., is also moving to 15 Front St. from its currently space at 449 Main St., according to owner Carrie Tindle. A public hearing will be held that same day.

Two of the four storefronts at 15 Front Street are currently occupied by Metal Monk and Local Knot, according to building owner Steve Lopes. The other two are vacant and were previously occupied by a boutique called Calypso St. Barth.

As for the space currently occupied by the collective at 19 Front St., Kathleen McDowell, owner of Kate’s Cheese Co., has proposed a retail eating and drinking establishment there, according to a notice in the building’s window. The notice indicates that a Planning Board hearing on that use, as well as on the relocations of the Collective and Crinoline Fashion Boutique, are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 4, at 4 p.m. at the Third Street firehouse. Under village zoning, eating and drinking establishments are conditional uses that require a public hearing before they can be approved.

Photo caption: Artist Andreas Moes performing at the North Fork Art Collective in Greenport during the Sofar Sounds show on Dec. 16. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

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