NORTHPORT - After the state gave a Northport couple a boost to build a winery, some residents say they don't want it to be built because it would be located near an elementary school.
The state issued a report declaring that Lisa and Fred Giachetti's proposal to open a winery on Norwood Road near Norwood Avenue Elementary School is allowed under state law.
The report also states that Huntington Town code is "unreasonably restrictive of the farm operation" and was blocking the Giachetti's plans to start the business.
"There were concerns about certain aspects of the project," says Fred Giachetti. "For instance, the parking location and certain types of events that could be held here on the premises."
Faced with town resistance, the Giachettis appealed to the state to step in to review the proposal.
The state found that the town's planning board sought more than a dozen revisions to the farm's site plan, revisions that were "very costly, time-consuming," and that the town was overstepping local government authority.
The state gave the Giachettis the green light to build on the 10-acre property.
Some residents say they are outraged by the state's decision.
Nicole Mulholland says she has two children who attend the elementary school next to the planned vineyard.
"I don't think they scrutinized it to the manner that it needed to be and many didn't even realize this was next door to an elementary school," she says. "I have to say they failed their constituents in this community miserably."
The Town of Huntington issued a statement saying, "the Town is not going to comment until the Town Attorney's office has had a chance to fully review the letter."
The state has given the town 30 days to respond to the report's findings.