Judge refuses to shut down outdoor events at Dimon Estate while lawsuit moves forward

Outdoor weddings will continue this year at the Manor Lane restaurant that has been a magnet for noise complaints by irate neighbors and the subject of ongoing legal disputes with the Town of Riverhead. A State Supreme Court judge last week refused to impose a preliminary injunction against outdoor events, outdoor catering and the use of tents at the Dimon Estate in Jamesport.

Riverhead sought the preliminary injunction to prevent catered outdoor events at the restaurant during the trial of its action, brought last year, to seek a permanent ban on such events at the site. Outdoor events with amplified music have drawn persistent noise complaints from nearby residents.

The town has been in and out of court with the property owner – as well as residents – for years. There is a pre-existing restaurant use on the site that does not conform to current zoning. Issues in contention have included whether catering is a type of restaurant use, whether catering must be confined within the restaurant building, and whether the use of temporary tents or the construction of a barn for catered events would constitute the expansion of a pre-existing, nonconforming use.

The court also declined to restrict the use of “sound reproduction devices” in a manner to cause ‘unreasonable noise,’ although it did grant a preliminary injunction against future violations of the town’s noise ordinance by the defendant for the duration of the lawsuit.

The court last week also denied owner Kar-McVeigh’s motion to dismiss the case, ruling that the action could proceed to trial. However, the court dismissed the case against company principal Matthew Kar individually. The town failed to plead “a cause of action cognizable at law” against Kar individually, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Santorelli wrote in his May 4 decision.

Santorelli ordered defendant Kar-McVeigh LLC to serve its answer to the town’s complaint within 20 days from the service of a copy of his order.

Attorneys for both parties did not respond to requests for comment.

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