By Janee Law
The Northport Village Board of Appeals has shot down a plan by the owners of Skipper’s Pub to build seasonal rooftop dining above the restaurant.
In a Nov. 19 decision, the board unanimously said the application by Skipper’s owners Paul and Marie Gallowitsch -- which proposed 109 rooftop seats and a bar over Skipper’s and adjoining buildings over a total of 2,750 square feet -- didn’t have enough proof to justify a variance on the village’s requirement that expansions provide more off-street parking. The board also said rooftop dining is not a permitted use in the zoning district.
“My clients and I are extremely disappointed in the decision of the zoning board of appeals and we think the case clearly should have been granted,” said attorney Christopher Modelewski, who represented Skipper’s.
The pub, located at 34 Main St., has been owned by the Gallowitsch family since 1978.
The $400,000 proposal was initially announced at the zoning board public hearing in July, drawing the attention from members of the community, and brought up again at another zoning board meeting in September.
“There is permitted outdoor dining within the village on both public and private property and what was proposed was to remove a great deal of the existing legal sidewalk dining and put it on the roof,” Modelewski said.
“It’s basically a parking issue right in the heart of downtown and it would be unfair,” said George Doll, mayor of the village, adding that he agrees with the decision made by the zoning board. “[Skipper’s] would be more than doubling their capacity at the expense of parking for other already established restaurants.”
Many who were in favor of the proposal expressed that the Gallowitsches have been loyal supporters of village initiatives, while others were concerned about the possible issues of noise parking, according to the zoning board decision.
Modelewski said “there are no future plans at this point” to pursue another rooftop dining plan at Skippers.