There were two speakers in favor of Sparkling Pointe’s proposed tasting room on 411 First Street at Monday’s Greenport Planning Board.
That’s a change from a May 3 hearing on the proposal, when several speakers, most of whom were village officials in some capacity, raised concerns with issues like buses dropping off people and then idling elsewhere, and potential noise from music inside the facility.
The Planning Board closed the hearing Thursday and will discuss the application at its next work session before voting.
The proposed tasting room had been used as a residence, although it is in a commercial district where a tasting room is permitted. The Planning Board is requiring the upstair portion of the building to be an apartment, something Sparkling Pointe said it plans to do.
At Thursday’s hearing, Sarah Phillips, the co-owner of First and South restaurant, which is directly next door to the proposed tasting room, addressed some of the concerns raised by other speakers at the prior hearing.
The parking issue, she said, is an issue everywhere in Greenport, and one business isn’t going to cause much more traffic. Likewise, the issue of delivery trucks blocking traffic happens throughout the village, and one business won’t make a huge difference, she said.
Ms. Phillips said the fact that the wine tasting business will be open seven days a week shouldn’t be an issue because the village had actually required North Fork Smoked Fish to stay open seven days a week a few years ago.
“This will help drive traffic off of Front and Main and may lead to people exploring more of the village than just downtown,” she said of the proposed tasking room.
Eric Elkin of Main Street suggested that having Sparkling Pointe on First Street will help get visitors to take a train or bus to Greenport, rather than driving.
“This is an opportunity, as the commercial district expands a bit, to create a village where you don’t need a car,” said Mr. Elkin, who’s also the wine club manager for Sparkling Pointe. “Most guests that come to the area want to experience the wineries and they feel they need a car, or some sort of limousine service, to do that. Anything we can do to promote a Greenport experience that doesn’t involve driving here, I think, is a big win and the tasting room is actually a logical thing.”
There also was a letter from two residents of Broad Street who expressed concern that limos and buses will drop people off at the tasting room and then park on Broad Street with their engines idling. They said that already happens with buses dropping people off at other venues.
Mike Falsetta, the general manager of Sparkling Pointe, said he will put a recommendation on their web site reminding buses that it’s illegal to have an engine idling for more than five minutes in New York State.
Photo caption: The proposed tasting room site on First Street.