A Northport vineyard and winery has drawn complaints from some neighbors who say the patrons are parking on residential streets and causing traffic congestion.
The Huntington Town Board is proposing parking restrictions on streets near the Del Vino Vineyards, on Norwood Road in Northport. At issue are winery patrons seeking street parking in the surrounding neighborhood once the Del Vino parking lot is full, which has approximately 120 spots.
In addition to serving wine and tapas, the winery also hosts live music events and weddings.
The parking situation is a "nightmare we live with every weekend," said neighbor Thomas Ryan during the Aug. 6 board meeting public comments session. "Almost every other business anywhere on Long Island has adequate parking for its own customers and its own patrons, so I don't know why Del Vino should have any exception to that."
"We are working closely with the town to try and remediate the issues for the residents and the neighbors," said Del Vino owner Frederick Giachetti in a phone interview. "We're doing our best to address it, and we are working with the town. I do think this would be an unfortunate step," he said of the idea of parking restrictions.
The proposed "no parking" zones are for: Norwood Road northbound from Russell Court to 290 feet west of Sound Court; Norwood Road southbound from Starlit Drive to 50 feet east of Russell Court; Sound Court westbound from 790 feet north of Norwood Road to Norwood Road; Starlit Drive eastbound from 700 feet south of Norwood Road to Norwood Road; and Starlit Drive westbound from Norwood Road south for 700 feet.
The no parking would be in effect from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in all zones except for the Sound Court zone, which would be permanently a no-parking spot.
The vineyard is no stranger to controversy, as opposition from town officials and residents delayed its opening for years until late last year.
Giachetti and his wife, Lisa, had faced criticism after they first announced plans in 2015 to build Del Vino on the 10-acre parcel. Northport-East Northport School District officials worried about the winery's proximity to Norwood Avenue Elementary School, about 350 feet away from the vineyard. Residents complained about potential traffic problems on the winding road and the possibility of drunken drivers.
"It's a difficult situation for my wife and I to be in. We understand that some people are upset about the parking, and we're also local neighbors. I live on Sound Court ... I'm literally one block away," Giachetti said. "We're very thankful for all the support we've received from the neighborhood. I think it's not a majority of the neighbors. It's a small vocal minority who are upset about the parking."
The Huntington Town Board is holding a 2 p.m. public hearing at its Sept. 17 meeting to discuss the "no parking" zones. Town Hall is at 100 Main St., Huntington.