Lawyers for the owner and the operator of the Milleridge Inn pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple code violations in the Nassau County Fourth District Criminal Court in Hempstead.
Kimco Jericho MI, LLC, an affiliate of New Hyde Park-based Kimco Realty Corp., which owns the restaurant property in Jericho, was charged with 11 violations of the Oyster Bay town code, including operating without a certificate of occupancy. Milleridge Ventures, Inc, which operates the inn under a lease with Kimco, was charged with seven code violations.
Judge Paul Meli granted adjournments to July 8 in both cases.
The violations, issued March 22, include operating a restaurant with neither a certificate of occupancy nor a public assembly license, according to the charges filed with the court. The two entities were also cited for the construction of a barn without permits.
The town also cited Kimco for allowing the barn and a fenced-off area to be used to house rescued farm animals, which is not permitted on property zoned for general business use, and other violations. The barn was built in 2015 or 2016, historical satellite images from Google Earth show. Oyster Bay Deputy Town Supervisor Gregory Carman Jr. said Monday that the barn will be removed.
"The violations received were related to the Milleridge, which Kimco does not operate," Kimco spokeswoman Jennifer Maisch said in an email. "We have been in contact with the current Milleridge operator, who is working diligently and cooperatively with the town to resolve the matter."
Maisch said the barn was constructed by the Milleridge operators, not Kimco.
“These are technical, not safety issues,” Milleridge attorney Peter Kramer of Islandia, said after the court appearance.
Milleridge Ventures, a partnership between Isaac “Butch” Yamali and Anthony Capetola, took over operation of the Colonial-era restaurant in 2016. Kramer said the issues predate his client’s involvement and they’ve hired a building consultant to work on resolving the violations.
Kimco and Milleridge representatives have said the other party is responsible for resolving the violations.
“We think this is a Kimco issue,” Kramer said. “We’re being asked to clean up something that has existed for almost 70 years.”
Carman said Monday that the code violation allegations won’t affect the planned hotel at the eastern end of the the parking lot serving the Milleridge Inn. The Oyster Bay Town Board approved a special use permit for the hotel at its May 7 meeting in the face of strong opposition from Jericho residents. The project still requires a variance for insufficient parking. The developer plans to seek tax breaks through the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.