ZBA rejects plans for Jamesport restaurant to host outdoor events in barn, tents

The Riverhead Zoning Board of Appeals Thursday rejected plans for The Dimon Estate in Jamesport to locate an indoor barn or tent on their Manor Lane property. 

Riverhead Town and Manor Inn owners Kar-McVeigh LLC  — which is headed by chef Matt Kar — have been in court since 2004 over the issue of catering, outdoor events and wedding events at the restaurant formerly known as the Jamesport Manor Inn. 

The restaurant has been seeking approval for a second indoor building on its property for catering and weddings. They say that will reduce noise coming from the property.

Town officials say they have received many noise complaints about the business. 

An order of the state Supreme Court dated April 2, 2013 remanded the matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals “for a new hearing and determination”and the issue has dragged on for nearly a decade.

The ZBA essentially agreed with a former planner’s 2009 determination, which argued that since the inn at the site was a pre-existing, non-conforming use under zoning, it would need a special permit approval from the Riverhead Town Board instead of a site plan approval from the Planning Board. 

The ZBA had four yes votes with member Daniel Zaweski abstaining.

Town building and planning administrator Jefferson Murphree said he also agreed with the 2009 determination.

At an earlier hearing, Mr. Kar apologized for the noise and said police were called 16 times in the past 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 reduce noise.