Riverhead Ciderhouse seeks OK for outdoor music

Grapes and Greens, also known as Riverhead Ciderhouse, is seeking to amend the previously approved site plan for its Sound Avenue business in order to allow music to be played outdoors through wall-mounted speakers, as well as incorporate other changes that have already been completed but, according to Riverhead Town officials, do not conform with their previously approved plans.

The changes will be subject to a public hearing at the Sept. 7 Riverhead Planning Board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.

Specifically, Grapes and Greens is seeking to add a 3,186-square-foot outdoor patio area and adjacent masonry block wall in order to allow recorded music to be played outdoors from two wall-mounted speakers.

The company also seeks 56 additional parking spaces and changes to the approved landscaping plan for the 7.1-acre Baiting Hollow property.

The public hearing notice initially included some changes that were made inside the building, such as changes to the size of a snack bar and the addition of two pizza ovens. However, John King, whose company owns Grapes and Greens, said those items were portable and should not require site plan approval, a point Planning Board members agreed with.

The ciderhouse received a 90-day temporary certificate of occupancy from the Planning Board March 2. That CO has since expired, according to town building and planning administrator Jeff Murphree. It had received site plan approval in April 2016.

“It was always contemplated that there would be folks walking outside,” Bryan Lewis, an attorney for Riverhead Ciderhouse, said at last Thursday’s Planning Board meeting. “if you recall, there was a lengthy discussion about outdoor music and not having outdoor live music.”

He indicated they are permitted to have recorded music played outdoors.

Grapes and Greens was launched by J. Kings Food Service Professionals in 2012 with support from the Long Island Farm Bureau and a $500,000 state grant.

It was initially billed as an agricultural processing and storage facility, but Mr. King said the lease with the Long Island Farm Bureau expired in December, and it is no longer involved in the process. He said the farm bureau does store wines there and that 22,000 square feet of space at the facility is used rent-free by Island Harvest Food Bank.

Photo credit: Joe Werkmeister

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