Tough Night at the ZBA

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tough Night at the ZBA

The Village finally got Andrew "Buddy" Mazzio before the Zoning Board of Appeals this even­ing to address a non-conforming sign that the producers of Fox TV's Kitchen Nightmares erected in front of his Finn McCool's establish­ment a year ago.

It was an interesting hearing... though not the level as that of the Westhampton Free Library earlier in the meeting... as ZBA Chairman Chris Bean undertook a dressing down of the former Southampton Town Policeman-turned-publican for:

  • "Dragging his feet" in coming before the ZBA to rectify his numerous Notices of Violation;
  • Suspected bad-mouthing of the Municipality in specific and the Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer in particular, by ascribing to them the re­spon­sibility for Finn McCool's signage troubles, when in fact it was something he himself "owned."

In what was clearly an uncharacteristic display of biting his tongue, Mr. Mazzio accepted the Chairman's lecture, responded as gracefully as possible under the circumstances, and man­aged to not "give up" his friend on the Village Board whose errant counsel likely contributed to the delays.

The hearing was closed subject to a deter­mi­nation at the April ZBA meeting, and it is hoped that some accommodation can be made for Finn McCool's to maintain their sign, if not in its current location, then somewhere on the property where it will be effective in helping the establishment prosper and thrive.

It would not serve the municipality to have a vacant building at one of the major gateways to the Village.

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