Southold Town’s board of directors last week rejected two event requests for a Mattituck restaurant over concerns from city officials over a previous party at the Main Road company.
City attorney Bill Duffy said a June 12 celebration of Mattitaco’s third anniversary went “way beyond what they asked for,” with parking, vendors and music in store. direct beyond the scope of the original request. The event, he said, demonstrated “such blatant disregard” for bylaws that city council found it necessary to revoke and reject requests for future events for the taqueria.
At its meeting last Tuesday night, Southold Town‘s board revoked a previously approved request for a September 7 event at the restaurant and rejected a similar request for August 28.
The resolution to revoke the approval for September indicated that Mattitaco “had not met all of the conditions of the application and permit for the June 12 event”.
Reached by phone last week, Mattitaco owner Justin Schwartz called the town’s actions, of which he was previously unaware, “disappointing”.
“We fought like hell for a year and a half,” he said, adding that the events had been helpful in the post-pandemic recovery. He also questioned the actions of the code enforcement officers at the birthday party, saying he believed the photographs they had taken were a “huge invasion of privacy”, especially more than children were present.
Among the conditions in a resolution to approve the June event was that all parking was to be confined to the site. Mr Schwartz said he had indicated the lot would be closed in his initial request.
Southold Police also responded to a complaint about loud music coming from Mattitaco’s address shortly after 11 p.m. on June 12, but found the event to have ended before police arrived, according to a police incident report. Mr Schwartz said the event ended at 10 p.m.
In a letter accompanying his request for the June 12 event, Mr. Schwartz said he needed approvals to be able to operate a food truck to accommodate an increase in customer numbers on the occasion of the anniversary loaded with pandemic-related regulations in place at the time, “not because I’m having a party, live or amplified music, or working late at night. He said this week that he hadn’t planned to “open things” this summer when he initially applied for the event.
Mr Schwartz said this week that he emailed government liaison officer Denis Noncarrow with an amendment to the request two weeks before the June event, but Mr Noncarrow said he did not deal with such requests and addressed questions to the city attorney’s office. Southold Town supervisor Scott Russell also referred a reporter’s questions to the town’s prosecutor.
The rejection and revocation by the city of the events of August and September complies with article 205-6 of the city code, which allows applicants to file an appeal with the city clerk within 10 days of a refusal of a permit. City Councilor Sarah Nappa voted alone against the removal, but she voted with her fellow board members to reject the August event. The September date had been approved at the same time as the June birthday party.