Riverhead Town has taken the owners of Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard on Sound Avenue to court, accusing them of holding illegal events and building additions without town approvals. The town is seeking more than $100,000 in damages and wants the alleged illegal activities halted.
A group of the vineyard’s neighbors has filed its own suit making similar claims but seeking $5 million in damages. The neighbors say they’ve been subjected to noise from parties at the winery, which they contend is operating illegally.
“When the live bands start, it’s just outrageous,” said Jason Lull, who lives across the street from the vineyard and filed the lawsuit in November with his wife, Stacy Yakaboski, who is an attorney. “We can hear it inside our home.”
Meanwhile, Riverhead Town officials are considering tightening the regulations on wineries that hold private parties and play amplified music.
The vineyard’s attorney, Linda Margolin, says her clients are running an agricultural operation and don’t need any town approvals for their activities under state law and the town code. She insisted that the town’s own master plan encourages such uses of agricultural land.
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