Village Attorney Michael McDermott placed himself squarely in the middle on Monday of a long-running, seemingly intractable quarrel over noise in downtown Mamaroneck.
Specifically, McDermott, who wears a town justice’s black robe when he’s not giving the village legal advice, will try to mediate the collision of interests that occurs when late night commerce and high rise housing are located within shouting distance of one another.
McDermott’s latest assignment follows yet another high-decibel meeting in which Mike Hynes, owner of the restaurant and sports bar at 211 Mamaroneck Ave., and nearby residents—chiefly those who live in the Regatta condominium complex at 123 Mamaroneck Ave., a half block away— threw jabs while village officials moderated the action.
With 9,000 square feet of space inside and multiple decks outside, the pub attracts large numbers of patrons for dining and drinks. It’s open Sunday through Wednesday until 2 a.m. and till 4 a.m. at all other times.
Monday’s contentious meeting—held in a conference room within the Regatta and hosted by the village board of trustees—placed the long-simmering controversy in sharp relief. “It isn’t fair to us,” complained Regatta resident Lucia Tatavitto, who will represent Spillane’s’ neighbors in the McDermott mediation effort.
"Something really needs to be done,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to call the police department every night.”
Indeed, one of the issues raised Monday was whether the fight to curb noise pollution was best waged through policing or code enforcement, or a combination of both.
But some angry residents complained that the police turn, well, a deaf ear to their noise complaints. “We elect the people sitting in this room,” said Jean Starace, another Regatta resident. “Why aren’t we given the same respect as Molly Spillane’s gets?” She charged that the police were being insufficiently proactive in enforcing noise ordinances.
Police Chief Christopher Leahy, who attended the meeting, denied any lack of vigor in his force’s policing efforts and said, “If he [Hynes] doesn’t comply, he’s issued a summons.”
Hynes, for his part, insisted that he does comply with village regulations and argues that any establishment like his, given its large number of patrons and music, will inevitably generate a certain volume of noise—and it should be expected from a business in a downtown commercial zone.
Village Manager Richard Slingerland told the meeting that nothing in the law allows the village to deny Spillane’s a cabaret license.
McDermott, the mediator and a town justice in Somers, explained, “There are competing interests here. He has the right to run his business and you have the right to enjoy your home.”
For Solange DeSantis, that’s precisely what she asks. “We’re entitled,” the Regatta resident said, “to enjoy our quality of life.”
Saying, “I don’t know what more we can do about it,” she asked the board, “There are noise ordinances. Are they going to be enforced?”
Trustee John Hofstetter, in a word of caution to both sides, noted that the village board, put in the middle of this dispute, could dictate a resolution that’s unlikely to be warmly embraced by either side. “Nobody’s going to be entirely happy with the results,” he warned. “Everybody will be unhappy.”