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No reprieve for Chicken Kidz after missed application deadline

The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons got some good news from the Riverhead Town Board on Thursday.

But Chicken Kidz, a popular children’s consignment sale in Riverhead, did not.

Both ARF and Chicken Kidz were told they missed the deadline for filing their applications for events this year. The denials came in the wake of a new Special Events chapter that the board approved in December. The new rules were done, in part, because applicants were filing their event permits late, officials said.

The board on Thursday agreed to waive the late fines for special events for the first year.

However, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said it won’t help Chicken Kidz since it didn’t file its application on time under the new laws or the old ones.

She also said Chicken Kidz couldn’t just move the event indoors at Polish Hall because that use is not allowed under their certificate of occupancy.

ARF, which had asked for a waiver of the late fees, will be able to hold its event so long at it filed its application 45 days ahead of the event date, Ms. Jens-Smith said.

Chicken Kidz is held twice a year at Polish Hall, according to Susan Biegner of Medford, who has held the event in Riverhead since 2012. She was told her event application was rejected this year because the application wasn’t submitted early enough.

Chicken Kidz, a for-profit organization, had planned to hold its four-day event from April 4-7, and about 1,200 people were expected.

Ms. Biegner had asked the board at Tuesday’s meeting for leniency and said she’s been late in filing the application in the past and was allowed to hold the event. She said she is not from Riverhead and doesn’t know about the new rules.

Ms. Biegner could not be reached for comment Thursday following the board’s decision.

ARF, on the other hand, had sought to have an adoption event at Tanger Outlets on April 27. Ken Zahler, a representative of the nonprofit organization, said he delivered the application to the Town Clerk 40 days in advance but was told it had to be 90 days in advance.

Four of the Town Board members at Tuesday’s meeting expressed concern about the two events having to be canceled.

“I can’t see forcing you to cancel the event,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said. She maintained on Thursday that the event should be allowed, saying it will provide rental income for Polish Hall and will allow parents to sell or buy quality children’s clothes.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent said that since this is the first time with the new rules, “we can be flexible.”

But Ms. Jens-Smith said there was a 60-day grace period and 27 other applicants complied with it.

The board discussed the special event regulations for more than an hour at Thursday’s work session.

Councilman Tim Hubbard said his biggest concern was with notification. He said some events are not held every year and might not know about changes to the town’s event code. He said there will probably be additional applications coming in late, under the new rules.

Ms. Giglio felt the town should send potential applicants a certified letter to ensure they’ve seen the new regulations. She also said she felt applications should be filed at least 40 days before an event, she supported a one-year amnesty and a refunding of late fees.

Ms. Giglio said the Town Board should get recommendations from the fire marshal and police chief on what applications should be approved, and she felt there should be a template with the questions that should be answered by applicants.

The new rules impose a $20 per day fine for applications that are submitted after the deadline, which is at least 45 days for events with 100 to 750 attendees and at least 60 days for events with 751 to 2,500 people.

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Photo caption: The Chicken Kidz event at Polish Hall. (Ashley Hadjoglou photo)