Tom Struzzieri, the owner of Lynch’s Marina, answered the questions of village planning board members and the public at a recent hearing on his application to turn one of two marina buildings into a wedding and events hall. For the last several months, members of a group calling itself Friends of Lynch’s Marina have raised concerns at planning board and trustees’ meetings and written letters to the editor about Strizzieri’s desire to site a wedding venue at the marina.
Struzzieri responded to some of the complaints at the planning board’s June 8 meeting. He said he wanted “to make sure the property will be something we can all be proud of.”
Noise coming from the wedding venue seems the Friends’ biggest complaints, particularly loud music. They’re also concerned about the number of people that might be allowed to attend such events.
Village law says that no more than 99 people can occupy the building at anyone time. Struzzieri said he would adhere to the law. If more than 99 people were invited to a wedding, he said, a large tent would be set up on the property to accommodate the overflow.
As to noise, he said, “This is not a rock-and-roll-band-event” type of place. He promised that noise would be kept to a minimum. “We are doing it [developing the property] in a very sensitive way.”
When he ha purchased the property in December, he noted, he had removed a number of boats sitting on the property for a number of years, and had them towed to each owner’s home.
The floor of the buildings was so badly damaged by flooding by several hurricanes and storms a number of years ago, Struzzieri said, “that I was surprised the buildings weren’t condemned.” The flooring of at least one of the buildings was torn out and replaced with a cement floor.
To those who complain about the use of the property for a commercial purpose, Struzzieri said, “It’s a commercial property and has always been a commercial property. There was once a restaurant there. It’s not a surprise it’s a commercial property.”
He is so proud of the work and the historic value of the marina buildings that he has applied to have them placed on the National Historic Registry.
And he had a promise. “I’m not going away,” Struzzieri said, “and will see it to the end.”
Struzzieri representative John Eickman said plans call for food for the weddings and marina events would be cooked in the Diamond Mills kitchens and brought to the venue, though some food preparation would take place inside the building.
He added that he doesn’t anticipate a lot of traffic into and out of the site. Attendance in the building would be limited to 99. For larger events, a shuttle would take people back and forth from Diamond Mills, where overflow parking would be located.
A stop sign will be put on East Mill Street to slow traffic. Residents had complained about speeding along the narrow roads near the marina.
The wedding season would be between April and October, Eickman said.
Neighbor Stan O’Dell said that he’s seen the marina fall into disrepair, and he had numerous concerns such as the boats stored there. Now that the place is being cleaned up, O’Dell said, “I’m 110 percent in support of this.”
Because the marina is just across a small stretch of water from the village’s Tina Chorvas Park, the village planning board must send the application to the county planning board for review. The public hearing on the application will remain open until after the board receives the county’s report.
The next planning board meeting is July 13 and if the county report is received by then, village planners will vote on the application.