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Oyster Bay preservation panel wants Maine Maid Inn details

Renovations being made to the Maine Maid Inn

Renovations being made to the Maine Maid Inn in Jericho can be seen in this photo from April 21, 2015. Credit: Ted Phillips

The town of Oyster Bay Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the architect for new construction on the Maine Maid Inn seven days to provide additional information on the plans at an emergency hearing Thursday night.

Architect Angelo Francis Corva agreed to provide drawings of plans for the Jericho building to the town building department before they meet again.

The partial demolition of the landmarked building by the Scotto Brothers, who plan to build a new restaurant there, created an outcry among preservationists and community residents. The building, built in 1789, was part of the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves.

Corva's plans appeared to leave little of the original structure intact while adding an equal amount of new construction, a fact that garnered sharp criticism from commission member John Collins and many speakers in the audience of about 30 people. Corva said he had not reviewed historical photographs when drafting his design for the new restaurant, but said he was willing to look at some.

The town has not issued a stop-work order at the site

It remained unclear how the building permit had been issued in the first place. Commissioner of Planning and Development Frederick Ippolito, who is on leave while facing federal tax-evasion charges, has a seat on the commission, though he can also designate someone to act in his stead. Deputy Commissioner Timothy Zike, who acted as designee, said he had not issued the permit. Corva said he didn't know who had issued the permit. Ippolito, when asked following a court appearance last week whether he had signed a permit, did not respond.

The town code requires alterations for landmarked buildings to be reviewed by the commission. A town spokeswoman last week said a provision in the code allowed the permit to be issued without seeking the commission's permission because of the building's poor condition. But the town has not provided those permits and the commission was not notified even through Ippolito or his designee sitting on the commission.

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