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Ruling on Westbury's Avanti Night Club hours appealed

Avanti Night Club was recently shut down after

Avanti Night Club was recently shut down after it violated its permit, according to the village of Westbury. (April 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Westbury officials are appealing a court ruling striking down a restriction they imposed on a Post Avenue nightclub.

The court said the village in May was "arbitrary and capricious" in limiting the Avanti Night Club's closing time to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Previously, it had been allowed to stay open until 4 a.m. on those nights.

In April, village Mayor Peter Cavallaro and board members declined to act on a request to renew the permit for the club at 272 Post Ave., effectively shutting it down. The village cited noise complaints, calls to the police and an online ad the village claimed promoted a "swingers' party."

The village in May issued an amended special-use permit, which limited the club's closing time and set other mandates.

In his ruling last month, State Supreme Court Judge Norman Janowitz in Nassau County wrote that the village's decision to limit the hours of operation is "improper and is not supported by substantial evidence."

He added, "the fact that the event itself was advertised on a swingers' website by the promoter does not constitute a violation of the 'Adult Use' prohibition."

The club's management had denied responsibility for the ad and said no illegal activity took place there. To reduce noise, the club has installed soundproof doors and a foyer at the back of the building.

Regarding the ruling, Cavallaro said, "I think it's erroneous, I think it's a bad decision and that's why we're appealing." He declined to comment further, citing ongoing litigation.

The dispute had resonated in the community, with some residents wary the nightclub would have a negative impact on a newly renovated, $10 million theater, The Space at Westbury, across the street, which is premiering its first show next week.

Sherman Jackson, an attorney who has represented the club, said Wednesday he was pleased with the decision, but noted the issue may be moot because the club's permit expires in November.


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