Whale's Tale Seeks To Legalize Current Use

Owner Sosh Andriano is seeking permission to serve alcohol, post signage on 25A, extend hours and more.

principal Peter Houmere is seeking zoning relief from covenants and restrictions placed on his property in 1988 and 1990 by the Northport Village Planning Board.

Houmere's attorney Michael McCarthy told the village Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday that his client particularly wishes to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol, extend the hours of operation and allow signage on Route 25A among other changes to the covenant.

After persistent questioning, BZA Chair Cangemi was able to determine that the request is after the fact, as The Whale's Tale Cafe, owned and operated by Sosh Andriano has already extended the hours from the allowed 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends; added 64 seats from the allowed 20 to 84 and has been operating a restaurant that serves alcohol for consumption.

Cangemi also determined that landlord Houmere was aware that Andriano and/or his father had changed the use of what was formerly a snack bar to a restaurant/tavern and that alcohol was begin served approximately three years ago.

Many neighbors of the yachting center  — mainly residents of Milland Drive, west of the marina — testified that the noise that the music and people talking at The Whale's Tale's outdoor bar is damaging their quality of life.

Other neighbors, mainly those of Woodbine Avenue, boat owners who use the marina and patrons of The Whale's Tale testified that the bar is relatively mellow, quiet and an asset to the waterfront community that has no other waterfront dining besides private clubs or residences.

The decision to amend the covenant rests with the zoning board.

And residents say that this latest incident is indicative of the way that Houmere does business and displays a lack of respect for nearby residents.

The hearing was the second relating to Britannia in the past few months. T-Mobile Wireless submitted an application to the village early this year to construct a 60-foot high cell-phone tower at Britannia Yachting Center disguised as a mast in order to blend in to its waterfront, boatyard surroundings.

Residents expressed vehement opposition to that plan at a Feb. 23 hering.

"In terms of the T-Mobile issue, the board should not be considering giving the marina any further rights while it has not honored its agreement relating to its snack bar and other covenants," Milland Drive resident Andrew Aberham said.

In 2001, Britannia sued Northport Village in an attempt to extinguish the covenant requirements altogether arguing that the covenants had never been enforced and therefore were unenforceable. The Village prevailed in the lawsuit.

The BZA reserved decision on the most recent application. McCarthy asked for 15 days to submit additional comments and evidence.

As for the T-Mobile application, the BZA directed T-Mobile to pay for an engineering report done by experts chosen by the village. T-Mobile, in the process of being acquired by AT&T, has agreed to do so.

andy Iamascia June 09, 2011 at 11:36 AM
As far a i know, the only person who can speak for the village is Mayor Doll. No one told anyone to " do what you want" . The zoning board has the case ,they will hand down a ruling. that ruling will have to be abided by. If one can not live by that, then one should themselves run for public office earn 51% of the populace vote and replace or remove those they believe responsible for this heinious crime. Democracy is a wonderful thing , it lets the majority decide. If the worst thing to befall us is a little music on a warm summer afternoon , out of th epark tacos and a frozen pinacolada i'll suffer that fate every day that i have left.
Say No T-Mobile at Britannia June 09, 2011 at 12:03 PM
If Mr. Houmere is repeatedly willing to go on the record saying the "village" told him to disregard the covenants and restrictions which the village sued to enforce it appears somebody in the village employ spoke for the village. All joking aside about the food, drink, etc., all that was considered when the marina was established, and the marina, (Mr. Houmere) , contracted to waive the right to intrude on its neighbors. Since 2005 when the village won the lawsuit, Britannia has acted in defiance of the covenants and restrictions. As one commenter said : "So...Wait a minute, the owner/landlord, through a series of covenants and restrictions, agrees to a certain number of patrons, hours and no liquor sales for the Whales Tale. He leases the place and watches and consents to liquor being sold, an increase from 20 to eighty patrons and extended hours. Anyone have a problem with that? The owner, Peter Hourmere was a Northport High School teacher, so we have to assume he has a master's degree, and can read and write English. Therefore, one can infer, he decided to do whatever he wanted, to hell with C & R's. Watch this carefully, this ruling will mean you can do whatever YOU want (addition to your house, deck, apartment, cabana, front porch) and point to this case when you get caught." If your significant other has strong ties via employment by in the village, maybe we can all learn how we got to this point. Gov't and the legal system did tell Britannia "no".
andy Iamascia June 10, 2011 at 12:25 PM
I agree witht he fact that as far as obeying the rules covenants and restrictions they seem to have an attitude as to "its easier to beg forgivness then ask permission''. which is why the zoning board has the case of both the Whales tail and the cell phone tower. It does seem to much more difficult to shut an operation down the to prevent it from happening, Going from a deli/convenience store to a waterfront saloon is a bit of a stretch for anyone to swallow. Yes they were told No.(by the village) They did it anyway. At this point the lawyers, legal system and whoever else has a piece of the action will argue it out and god only knows how long that wil take before someone actually finds the guts rules on it. Right wrong or whatever, its there ,serving food and drinks. We can argue the facts on here until the cows come home, but someone else at the throne of power will eventually make the call. In the meantime the scallops are to die for
Michael June 22, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Okay...so we have heard nothing but great things about the Whales Tale, however, I would side with Pat, Bill See and Avery on this one. Where does the line get drawn? Blatant disregard for codes and restrictions are going to be rewarded? Try doing something to your home and surely expect a visit from a code enforcement officer (which there is none for this matter apparently). Serving liquor and extending seat capacity (w/o traffic pattern study or parking study and omissions to get liquor license) without even applying for proper permits is just a slap in the face to the NZB. Someone else in town is going through the proper channels to open a place that IS zoned correctly but is being held up by who? You guessed it, NZB. That's what you get for doing things the right way I guess. Now, half the season will be over, if not all, before that case is resolved and the revenue (and taxes) will be lost for the high season. Not only that, but there are jobs waiting there too!!
avery June 23, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Well said Michael. For sure now that it is almost July fourth it is obvious that the village is conspiring to keep the Whale's Tale open and running all summer. Even the village attorney told the newspapers that he wouldn't do anything until they were open. Couldn't he have gone to court before they opened for the season and stopped them from opening? Now for months the village tells people that the covenants can't be enforced...meaning Britannia and Whale's Tale do anything they want...no better than common criminals...The village hasn't even tried to enforce. People are suffering the loss of enjoyment of their homes, something Britannia agreed to protect before they were allowed to even build the place. This village government has some interest in keeping the place open. The past village government at least took the criminals to court. The zoning board just delays deciding the case and all people can do is wonder who to call to investigate. Is this crookhaven all over again???????


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