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Buckhead's Grill Files for ZBA Variances

The application will be before the zoning board on Feb. 21. at 7 p.m. at village hall.

Six months after the Village of Westhampton Beach filed a lawsuit against a new proposed eatery at the former Finn's location on Old Riverhead Road, called Buckhead's Grill, for violating stop work orders, Leopold Balestrieri, the restaurant operator, filed a zoning board of appeals application requesting variances.

According to Paul Houlihan, building and zoning administrator for the Village of Westhampton Beach, the ZBA application was submitted to his office late last week and is set to go before the ZBA on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at village hall.

The application asks for parking and set-back variances for a canopy Balestrieri put up on the north side of the building without proper approvals.

With the addition, Houlihan said Balestrieri needs nine additional parking spaces, but Balestrieri is asking for an interpretation in his application, essentially requesting that the village board give him an outdoor dining permit for the area under the canopy.

An outdoor dining permit, however, is a temporary permit that the board issues annually.

"Once you put on an addition, you have to get a special exception permit and all those areas have to be calculated for parking," said Houlihan.

But Balestrieri said he would cut skylights in the canopy structure so it won't be classified as a building.

If Balestrieri obtains the variances he requested, he still must appear before the planning board to address site plan issues, said Houlihan.

Balestrieri, who goes by the pseudonym Butch Bales, had anticipated opening his new restaurant in the summer of 2012. He was stopped in his tracks after he was slapped with two stop work orders in July, followed by the lawsuit in September.

Balestrieri said his restaurant, once it opens, will feature international barbecue flavors.

He did not return requests for comment.

Related Reading:

  • International Barbecue Restaurant to Open in Westhampton
  • Village Issues Stop Work Order at New BBQ Restaurant

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Sharla Perreault February 06, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Boy, those WHB administrators are tough cookies and certainly not business friendly. If you took a survey of all of the business owners in WHB it wouldn't be a pretty picture.

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