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Wurtsboro Meeting
Is Contentious

By Ted Waddell
WURTSBORO — April 5, 2002 – On April 1, the planning board for the Village of Wurtsboro held a public hearing concerning the application of J & J Real Estate Management Corp., doing business as the Wurtsboro Hotel, for the expansion of a special use permit.
John Senise and his cousin Jack are partners in the Wurtsboro Hotel, which is located diagonally across Sullivan Street from Hamill Antiques, owned by Patrick and Marcia Hamill.
After Senise acquired the circa-1850 building in 1989, he started renting 10 upstairs studio apartments to seniors and the downstairs bar to Judy Monteverdi, of Banjo Blues Corp., dba the Hotel Tavern.
In recent years, Patrick Hamill has complained to village authorities about excessive after-hours noise emanating from the bar, stating in a April 10, 2000 letter to village building inspector Timothy Ippolito, “My family was subjected to loud music, yelling and partying of the bar patrons until 4 a.m.”
Hamill also questions the zoning of a self-contained storage facility erected on the site of an old carriage house adjacent to the 152-year-old hotel. According to Hamill, other issues are adequate parking and the septic system.
At Monday night’s public hearing, Hamill said Senise “was shipping in kids at two o’clock in the morning ... running all over the streets ... at the bar” operated by Monteverdi.
“I don’t own the bar,” replied Senise. “If the people who own the bar are in violation of the law, by all means call the proper authorities.”
According to Senise, the old hotel pre-exists current village building codes and thus is “grandfathered” into the current laws.
On the matter of the vintage carriage house being demolished to make way for 72 storage units, Senise said, “It was falling apart. . . . It was a den of iniquity, it harbored narcotics addicts and drinkers. . . . It was a very sleazy place.”
Senise told the planning board that, since purchasing the hotel, they have invested more than $100,000 in the building and requested permission to construct a second-floor safety exit for an estimated cost of $10,000.
According to Ippolito, Senise applied for the building permit about two months ago, but it was denied because he needed approval by the planning board.
The planning board approved a special use permit for landscaping, parking, lighting and facade work at the storage building, pending a six-month review.
Ippolito said this action by the board paves the way for a full plan review of the hotel/bar project to the building inspector.
“Because it’s pre-existing occupancy, there is no certificate of occupancy,” he added.
Russ Glick, a member of the audience, questioned the overall saftey of the senior residents, raising the issue of whether the old hotel must meet strict NYS fire codes and regulations.
But talk returned to the noise issue.
“He has a legitimate beef,” said Senise of Hamill’s complaints about after-hours noise from the bar. “If anyone is breaking the law, contact the proper authorities and let them take action.”
According to Local Law #2 (1982) of the Village of Wurtsboro, “unnecessary noise is prohibited during certain hours,” defined as between the hours of “7 a.m and 8:30 p.m during any weekday, and between the hours of 7 p.m. and 10 a.m. on any Sunday.
“Any noise which unreasonably interferes with the sleep, comfort, repose, health or safety of others is prohibited during the hours above mentioned,” continues Section 2 of Local Law #2.
Hamill added that, while taking care of his dying brother last year, late night noise from the bar forced his relative to leave the area for a quieter environment.
“I don’t want to have to call the police for every little annoyance that goes on,” said Village Mayor Robert Whitehead. “These are matters we are in a position to handle as a family here in the village . . . to be able to speak to each other openly and stop this bickering and sniping, because it makes the situation much worse.”

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