Town looks to close zoning loophole that could impact tasting rooms

If you’re hoping to open a wine-tasting room in a school or playground, you’d better move quick.

The Riverhead Town Board has scheduled a public hearing on a proposal to close a loophole in its zoning code that seemingly allows wine tasting rooms and farm stands as a permitted accessory use to every allowed use in the Rural Corridor zoning district.

A recent Zoning Board of Appeals ruling that allowed a wine-tasting room in an arts and crafts store brought the issue to light, and Town Board members are now seeking to clarify the zoning.

The new proposal establishes a new definition of “accessory building, structure or use” that requires it to be “customarily incidental” to the main use and to be subordinate in size and “purpose” to the main use.

The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 7:10 p.m. in Town Hall.