Tap room dispute lives on in Barrington

Town officials in Barrington have agreed to consult with the town’s attorney about a potential lawsuit related to the town’s handling of issues with the Olney Place store on State Route 54.

The town received a July 20 letter from Alan Knauf of Knauf Shaw LLP in Rochester which states that Olney Place neighbor Marion Louden and other neighbors were “very disappointed to learn that the town had decided not to enforce the zoning code against Mr. Olney or take any further action to ensure that Mr. Olney complies with the law.”

Olney Place owner Seth Olney operates a store, deli, and taproom at the location, but some town officials and neighbors say the taproom does not comply with local zoning code. On June 27, the town board unanimously agreed to take no further action on legal disputes between the town and Olney after the town’s appeal of a court decision which favored Olney failed. That, and a ruling by the New York State Liquor Authority cleared the way for Olney to serve beer from the taproom.

Knauf’s letter continues, “The neighbors are residents and taxpayers of the town and are entitled to the protections afforded them under the laws with the town’s employees and volunteers have agreed to uphold… the neighbors hearby demand that the town take immediate action to prohibit Mr. Olney’s unlawful and unpermitted use of the property. If the violations are not abated within 10 days, our clients may take legal action.”

Olney Place, located at 823 East Lake Road on Keuka Lake, sits near a number of lakeside residences and seasonal cottages on a site that has had a retail establishment for decades. It is within a Lake Residential District in the town’s zoning designations.

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