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Town Board Notes: Vote upcoming to approve music festival

The Riverhead Town Board will consider scheduling public hearings to establish a ban on 24-hour operations in the Village Center, Rural Corridor, business Country Rural and Hamlet Center zoning districts. Specifically, the proposal would require them to be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. It would not apply to bars or nightclubs that sell alcohol at retail for on-premises consumption.

The hearings would all be at the Jan. 20 Town Board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.

The measure came in reaction to public opposition to a proposed 7-Eleven convenience store in the Vinland Commons shopping center in Aquebogue.

The zones in question are located mostly in hamlet areas along Route 25 and Route 25A. Polish Town would also be covered, but not downtown Riverhead.

Nile Rodgers festival approval

The board is expected to vote on a resolution to approve a three-day music festival at Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue for the weekend of Aug. 12, 13 and 14.

The festival is produced by music legend Nile Rodgers, who did a similar two-day, mid-week festival in August. That festival featured big name performers like Beck, Keith Urban, Pharrell Williams and Duran Duran, but reportedly didn’t draw as many people as expected.

The festival is being called “The Freak Out!” this year, after a song Mr. Rodgers wrote and performed with the group Chic in the 1970s. In 2015, it was called “Freak Out Let’s Dance,” as Mr. Rodgers also produced the David Bowie song “Let’s Dance” in the 1980s.

Court House restaurant to be demolished?

The Town Board may vote to continue the public hearing on the former Court House restaurant on Griffing Avenue, which the town considers to be an unsafe structure.

That hearing, which would be continued on Jan. 14 at 10 a.m., requires the property owner, Lyle Pike, to make the building safe or tear it down, and if he doesn’t, the town will do so and put the cost on Mr. Pike’s property tax bill.

The Town Board in November gave Mr. Pike a month to decide if he can restore the nearly 125-year-old building, or if it should be demolished.

If he submitted plans showing he can restore it, he’d get another month to submit a formal application.

“We thought some good things were going to come of that, but the owner doesn’t seem to be able to get out of his way,” Supervisor Sean Walter said Thursday.

Councilman John Dunleavy said that continuing the public hearing, “we’re just stalling.”

Mr. Walter said this was being done at the advice of the town attorney’s office.

“They wanted to make sure we gave him adequate notice,” Mr. Walter said.

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