“We have a one year special use permit,” said attorney Robert Sweeney, who was representing Siro’s. “We want to do improvements to address the sound issues but it is hard to attract investors with a one-year permit.”
Sweeney went on to ask the Board to grant a four-year special use permit, adding that it would not be a “free pass” for the popular summertime restaurant.
“We would still have to abide by the permit rules,” said Sweeney, adding that the City would still have the authority to levy fines if Siro’s violates any of the requirements.
Siro’s has long been a source of frustration for neighboring residences during the track season. Neighbors have voiced concerns about the volume of the live bands and the loss of quality of life that comes with living next door to a popular night spot including large crowds, early morning garbage pickups and parking.
A one-year special use permit for outdoor entertainment was enacted a few years ago to help curb the excesses of the restaurant. A noise monitor was installed to measure the decibel levels being emitted from the night club and requirements such as a parking agreement with NYRA were required.
For the two-year permit, Siro’s stepped up to the plate and hired their own noise monitoring company in addition to the one hired by the city. They also added a second noise monitoring device that will be located closer to the neighboring residences.
In addition, Sweeney said they have spoken to their waste management company and have asked that garbage pickup not be until at least 8 a.m.
“We will have a sign on the Dumpster and enclosure that says pickup cannot be before 8 a.m., as well as a lock on it and a person to come in and unlock it for them,” said Sweeney.
Siro’s has also offered to lower the number of hours of outdoor entertainment from 270 hours to 210, keep the decibel level at 70 dB’s, add sound barrier walls and floating top to a running generator and have in place a parking agreement with NYRA.
Councilman Philip Klein applauded Siro’s for their efforts to be a good neighbor but said he would not go as far as to approve a four year permit.
“I am very pleased the total hours will be reduced and hope we have solved the garbage problem,” said Klein. “But I don’t see a justification to increase the decibel level to 72, I believe 70 is reasonable. With that said, I am agreeable to a two-year review but not four years.”
Councilman Tom Lewis agreed, adding that Board members are “very sensitive” to the needs of Siro’s neighbors.
“If over the next two years you can show you are not going over [the decibel level,] I would be comfortable with a longer [special use permit for outdoor entertainment,]” said Lewis.
While Board Chair Clifford Van Wagner said he wanted to keep the permit at one-year and was not willing to budge on the decibel levels, he was willing to vote for the two year permit as well.
“I want Siros to prove they are doing the job right,” said Van Wagner.
Siro’s will pay for the noise monitoring and the council will receive an annual report following each track season. If any violations are found to have happened, Siro’s can be fined and are subject to not having the special use permit renewed in 2015.