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Apr 29, 2009 3:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach directs attorney to rework village music permits

Apr 29, 2009 3:33 PM

Business owners in Westhampton Beach who secure outdoor music permits could soon face more stringent requirements regarding volume, as well as harsher penalties if they violate the terms of the contract.

Westhampton Beach Attorney Bo Bishop is now working on changing the conditions of the village’s music permits, which are granted by the trustees to business owners in the downtown area and allows them to hire live musicians and performers on certain nights during the summer. Mr. Bishop is also writing a new procedure for how the village could revoke the permits if those terms are violated, and establish parameters for how the village will determine whether or not music is being played too loud.

The drafts will be disseminated to Village Board members within the coming weeks, Mr. Bishop said, though he does not think that the proposed changes will be discussed at the next board meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 7.

Amplified music offered at downtown businesses has been a source of controversy in Westhampton Beach since the outdoor music permit process was instituted in 2006. This past winter, the trustees were considering banning almost all amplified music on Main Street to remedy the problem.

“No one is trying to hamstring a vibrant downtown,” said Village Board member Hank Tucker at the April 22 work session, referring to how the proposed changes to the permit process would impact the business district.

Business owners who are applying for a renewal or a new music permit will be subject to whatever changes the village makes to the permits, even if the trustees do not finalize the changes until this summer, Mr. Bishop explained. Less than half a dozen business in Westhampton Beach have outdoor music permits.

Mr. Bishop is writing two different drafts of the updated music permit, each with a different method of controlling the volume of outdoor music. The trustees will have to determine which method they want to adopt.

At Mayor Conrad Teller’s suggestion, one of the drafts will state that music will be considered too loud if it can be heard off the property on which it is being played. The other draft will include a provision stating that music is too loud if it is deemed so by the “reasonable man standard,” Mr. Bishop said. That standard, which is used in the Village of Westbury, is based on the hearing of an individual with normal sensitivity to music volume, he added.

Another proposed change to the permitting process will be that if a business receives two notices of violation, it must come before the Village Board for a hearing. Then, board members can either revoke the permit or demand an explanation as to why the business continues to violate the terms of the permit, Mr. Bishop explained.

He said that an official notice of violation from the Westhampton Beach Building Department is issued only after Village Police have issued two warnings to a business that is violating the code.

Stimulus Funding

Westhampton Beach officials are hoping that they receive about $2 million in stimulus money from the federal government to complete a number of construction projects in the village.

The village is hoping to complete reconstruction work on South Road, Main Street, Mitchell Road and Mill Road, as well as replace bulkheading at the Village Marina. Officials are also hoping to replace bulkheading in Duck Pond along Brook Road, and in Moriches Bay along Harbor Road and Fiske Avenue.

George Gordon, the superintendent of the Westhampton Beach Department of Public Works, presented the list of projects to the Village Board during last week’s work session.

Village Clerk Kathy McGinnis said the village filed its application about two weeks ago with the New York State Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet, a state panel created by Governor David Paterson that manages local infrastructure projects financed through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus package.

In other news, the village is now considering establishing a new fee that would be paid by developers looking to complete projects in Westhampton Beach. The proposed $500 fee, according to Building Inspector Paul Houlihan, would be paid by those developers looking to secure a six-month extension when applying for their building permits, giving them a total of 12 months to complete the process.

Mr. Houlihan said that the ongoing economic downturn is prompting the creation of this fee. “You don’t really think about these things when the market is booming,” he said, “but when the economy slows, it’s helpful.”

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The ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM at all of the Westhampton Beach Trustee Meetings is NOT music on Main Street or the pool of tow trucks…it’s the excess of the Police Department and the Mayors illegal actions to support and help build the feathered nest of the controversial Chief, Ray Dean. The Village of WHB is 2.9 square miles… has 15 Police Officers, proportionately enough to cover 15 square miles … more cars, boats, scooters, SUV’s and pick-up trucks than any department 10 times the land and sea area. ...more
By Resident (42), Westhampton Beach on Apr 29, 09 9:11 AM
The real elephant in the room is people who DO NOT LIVE in the village lying and claiming to be Residents complaining about anything. You obviously weren't here before the current chief was hired, or you just didn't care that the department was run like Mayberry. Incompetence and apathy. My how things have changed. 1st people said Mayor Teller was out to get chief Dean, Now he's in bed with him. Make up your minds. You must be at different meetings than me, because I never ONE time heard in ...more
By heeeere's johnny (11), westhampton beach on Apr 29, 09 3:51 PM
Resident's Commnt is not only complete and utter wrong-headed bather, but it's copied and pasted from another response to a semi-related Comment by the same person... who, I don't for an instant believe is a resident of Westhampton Beach!

I shall now post the same response in that other story!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 29, 09 4:55 PM
Regardless of the Chief's salary and how many officers there are for the size of the Village - how is the major crime rate since Mr. Dean is the Chief? Seems to me there haven't been too many issues - well worth whatever the Village taxpayer's are paying - and the police tax rate is not unduly excessive.

All seemed to be quiet in the department until the Village Board appointed a liason to interfere.

By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Apr 29, 09 5:11 PM
Thought the article was about music.
By Lefty46 (56), Westhampton on Apr 29, 09 5:28 PM
Done with Dean

WHB police are the some of the silliest out there...

Putting personal feelings and judgments ahead of the law.

Wild Wild West - watch your step kids

(learn the laws, be polite, and refuse to be pushed around by uniformed egoists
By dogfacejones (81), Southampton on Apr 29, 09 9:14 PM
Johnny… I seriously doubt you ever attend a Trustee meeting because I know everyone who does. My guess is that you are a Dean lackey or a fellow card player at the illegal Wednesday night card game. The incompetent and “Mayberry” like former Police Chief was of course our own, lying, Mayor Teller, who cost the Village $1M because of his pathological lying. Who got replaced with the unqualified Son-in-law of the then Mayor. As far as a replacement for Ray Dean, anyone of the dedicated members of ...more
By Resident (42), Westhampton Beach on Apr 30, 09 7:24 AM
Was the Magic's burglary a burglary? Based on his legal troubles I would have to think about the Magic's situation. And Post Stop was it an inside job based on a tipoff of the situation? Still much better policing then most areas. It seems that Mayor Teller was re-elected - so if he cost the Village money they voters have forgiven him. Stop dragging the Village down and start working for a solution.
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on May 1, 09 11:01 AM
Only one thing is clear: all of these towns - Westhampton, Southampton (with its $16mm budget accounting "error"), Easthampton, etc. are all run by incompetent morons who benefit from high real estate taxes from seasonal outsiders who don't have their eyes on the ball. The gravy train is going to end, because revenues from expensive property sales are not happening any time soon. then the real local residents will be screwed.

it's outrageous how many cops and equipment and facilities ...more
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 1, 09 11:52 AM
I am not a lackey, I just hate when lies and bile are spewed from your fingers. You are WRONG I have been to meetings. Not all like you and your minions, but look fo me sometime around the next mayor Neubauer or other non residentswith big mouths like you who DO NOT LIVE IN MY VILLAGE(Angelo are you ready for electin season). You are WRONG he isn't he former mayors son-in-law. As far as your budgetary concerns look hard at your taxes and see what percentage comes from the village and what percentage ...more
By heeeere's johnny (11), westhampton beach on May 1, 09 9:29 PM
Hey Hey Johnny --

When is the poker class given at the library? I get distracted when people post son-in-law of the former mayor and so on - too many hits to the head I guess.

Pretty soon they will have to see what percentage of their taxes go to the Library as well -- massive project and I can bet there will be massive overruns with those that are in charge.

We look forward to you raising your children in WHB (so you school taxes will actually be for something), your ...more
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on May 2, 09 8:12 AM
You can use high decibel polluting leaf blowers, weed whackers, ride on mowers to all hours on a summer evening but a band can't play amplified music. Something locals and visitors just might enjoy. Westhampton Beach is pathetic. They day when you need a permit for opening a can of tuna fish isn't far off.
By ride the truth wave (125), southampton on May 4, 09 6:32 PM