Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 19, 2013

Patio's existence questioned by village attorney

Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — One restaurant's outdoor patio is becoming a heated topic in the Village of Lewiston.

At Tuesday's Village Board meeting, village attorney Edward Jesella questioned The Village Pub's enclosure, in front of the restaurant and bar's Center Street location, and its classification as a temporary structure.

"It says it's supposed to be a temporary structure," Jesella said of The Pub's approval it received to build the structure in 2010. "But it hasn't come down. That means it's permanent."

Jesella has previously contended the patio was only approved for six months and was supposed to be removed after the initial time period expired. 

But The Pub co-owner Ken Scibetta said he received a second — and third — six-month approval to keep the structure, built on village property, standing. What he hasn't received permission for is to leave it up this winter, something he said was an oversight.

"It was our mistake," Scibetta said. "We just got behind on everything we were doing and completely forgot to reapply in December."

The structure, Scibetta said, is easy to remove. He said it would take him 15 to 20 minutes to have it disassembled. Therefore, the structure qualifies as a temporary structure, refuting Jesella's claim of permanence.

But he doesn't want to do it because of its effectiveness in handling the crowd his bar pulls in weekly. He said there's fewer problems outside the bar's doors and keeps people from wandering outside with drink in hand.

And village snow cleanup is not affected by its presence, he said. Department of Public Works Superintendent Bryan Meigs said a snow blower gets through without issue. 

Scibetta also questioned Jesella's knowledge of the agreement initially granting the patio. He wondered why approval for the patio required the restaurant to spend its own money to widen the village sidewalk in front if only for a patio to exist for one six-month period.

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