Tables are arranged for outdoor dining at Goldberg's deli in...

Tables are arranged for outdoor dining at Goldberg's deli in Westhampton Beach. The village recently began issuing seasonal permits for outdoor dining after a pause while working out an issue with the county. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Customers can dine under the sun and stars once again in Westhampton Beach.

The village board earlier this month approved a resolution to issue outdoor dining permits to 18 of 23 restaurants that applied for the seasonal permit. 

Restaurant owners who crowded a March village meeting feared outdoor dining, which surged in popularity since the pandemic, was in jeopardy after the village put a pause on renewing the permits while working out an issue with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Village Mayor Ralph Urban said the issue centered around seating capacity at some restaurants and conflicting numbers between the health department permits and certificates of occupancy issued by the village.

Those discrepancies led to concerns of some restaurants exceeding sewage flow amounts, according to the mayor. 

The village unveiled a multimillion-dollar wastewater treatment project last year to connect the village to Suffolk County’s wastewater treatment plant at Francis S. Gabreski Airport and work to hook up businesses still is underway.

Urban said the village lowered seating capacity numbers at some restaurants to match the health department's current requirements.

Grace Kelly-McGovern, spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, said the department issues operating permits to restaurants that show a “maximum number of approved dining seats based on the discharge of wastewater to an on-site sanitary system or connection to a sewer district.”

A restaurant may use seats for outdoor dining as long as the number of dining seats doesn't exceed the total indicated on the operating permit, she said.

The village received 23 applications for outdoor dining and 18 were approved at an April 4 meeting, with five deemed incomplete. The mayor said in an interview last week  that three more businesses since have resolved issues with their applications and gotten approval, leaving two permit applications still pending.

Michael Brunetti of Brunetti Pizza said during the meeting that outdoor dining is critical to offsetting rising expenses restaurants face, from food costs to payroll, to even garbage expenses.

Customers can dine under the sun and stars once again in Westhampton Beach.

The village board earlier this month approved a resolution to issue outdoor dining permits to 18 of 23 restaurants that applied for the seasonal permit. 

Restaurant owners who crowded a March village meeting feared outdoor dining, which surged in popularity since the pandemic, was in jeopardy after the village put a pause on renewing the permits while working out an issue with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Village Mayor Ralph Urban said the issue centered around seating capacity at some restaurants and conflicting numbers between the health department permits and certificates of occupancy issued by the village.

Those discrepancies led to concerns of some restaurants exceeding sewage flow amounts, according to the mayor. 

The village unveiled a multimillion-dollar wastewater treatment project last year to connect the village to Suffolk County’s wastewater treatment plant at Francis S. Gabreski Airport and work to hook up businesses still is underway.

Urban said the village lowered seating capacity numbers at some restaurants to match the health department's current requirements.

Grace Kelly-McGovern, spokeswoman for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, said the department issues operating permits to restaurants that show a “maximum number of approved dining seats based on the discharge of wastewater to an on-site sanitary system or connection to a sewer district.”

A restaurant may use seats for outdoor dining as long as the number of dining seats doesn't exceed the total indicated on the operating permit, she said.

The village received 23 applications for outdoor dining and 18 were approved at an April 4 meeting, with five deemed incomplete. The mayor said in an interview last week  that three more businesses since have resolved issues with their applications and gotten approval, leaving two permit applications still pending.

Michael Brunetti of Brunetti Pizza said during the meeting that outdoor dining is critical to offsetting rising expenses restaurants face, from food costs to payroll, to even garbage expenses.

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