Town planning board officially approves Riverhead Ciderhouse expansions that had already been made
The Riverhead Town Planning Board voted to approve the Riverhead Ciderhouse's expansions that were already completed.
The business expanded its patio, added an additional tasting room and 36 extra parking spots without first getting permits from the town.
The owner of the business said several months ago that the new space was built in an old warehouse so people could have more room during the height of the pandemic.
The Riverhead Ciderhouse applied for approval earlier this year, but residents have been upset that they expanded without the approval first.
The chair of the planning board addressed residents before public comment began, saying that it is not part of the planning board to punish anyone.
Some people say the 3-2 vote to approve the expansion sets a precedent for someone else to do the same thing.
"He just does what he wants and gets approved later and he feels compelled to keep doing that because he's gotten away with it before," says Claudette Bianco, of Baiting Hollow.
The owner of the Riverhead Ciderhouse issued a statement after the meeting, saying, "We came out to the East End to create a great place for people to enjoy. We think we did a great job over seven years and will continue to try and earn the community's trust."
Those against the expansion say they plan on seeing if there is precedent to vote on the issue again.