Concerns over events have landed Manor Lane restaurant back in court

The Riverhead Town Board has filed a lawsuit challenging the use of the recently renamed The Dimon Estate on Manor Lane for catering, outdoor events and wedding events on its property.

The lawsuit was filed late last year against Kar-McVeigh LLC and Matthew Kar, the owners of what was previously known as Jamesport Manor Inn, but the issue regarding the catering and outdoor events dates back to 2004. 

Town officials say they have received many noise complains from people living near the property. 

Many of the same issues are also currently before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which held a hearing on the catering issues last Thursday. 

The Inn has been trying to get approval for a second building on its property for use in catering and wedding events. The owners say an indoor building will reduce noise.

But neighbors have complained that the Inn is already too noisy. 

Kar-McVeigh bought the property in 2004. It was zoned for agricultural protection. The historic building was being used as a restaurant, which was allowed because, while it was a nonconforming use, it pre-existed zoning.

The ZBA in 2004 approved the use of the building as a restaurant, but denied the applicant’s variance request to allow catering as a principal use. 

The hearing before the ZBA was ordered by a state Supreme Court judge.

John Cipala, who owns farmland surrounding the Inn, said that allowing a catering hall “would be nothing short of a major disruption to the quality of life.”

Robert Skinner said his house is a half-mile away from the Inn and he can hear it. 

Other speakers also raised complaints about noise. 

Mr. Kar apologized for the noise. He said police were called 16 times this year on noise complaints coming from his property, but none of them were in violation of the town noise code. He said they have a noise meter and they’ve hired a sound consultant to try and reduce noise. 

“I started the [Jamesport] Country Kitchen 37 years ago and I’ve been in this town a long time working very hard,” Mr. Kar said. 

The restaurant, which closed for winter, recently reopened under a new name, The Dimon Estate, which is being run by Mr. Kar’s son, Chris.