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February 21, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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Jump to: THE SCARSDALE INQUIRER or THE RIVERTOWNS ENTERPRISE

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Inn’s popularity leads to traffic, parking ‘headaches’


By DON HEPPNER

Staff and attorneys for the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges met with police chief Dave Ryan and town supervisor Dick Lyman Tuesday evening to discuss parking issues.

The inn is currently parking cars in places other than restaurant property. Kathleen Tropin, owner of the inn, and Steven Siegelaub, Ms. Tropin’s attorney, spoke by phone during the meeting.

“I informed them that they were in violation of their special use permit by not keeping their parking on-site and the town had the obligation to enforce the terms of the permit because we would be liable if someone were to be injured while the conditions were not being adhered to,” Mr. Lyman said Wednesday morning.

Mr. Lyman told meeting participants that he and the town were very pleased the restaurant is in town. “They have done a beautiful job restoring the building. It’s exciting to have them here, but it is creating problem that we have to deal with,” he said. “We will work with them however we can to facilitate a resolution to the parking problem.”

“We are getting complaints nightly,” Chief Ryan said Wednesday. “There is a traffic and a safety concern nightly, but more so on the weekends.”

According to Chief Ryan, Michael Snyder, a vice president of the restaurant, said in a previous conversation that parking problems are new to them, their restaurants are in cities in which the parking lots are owned by others or patrons are conveyed by taxicab or limousine.

Chief Ryan said the plows clearing the roads Saturday night could not get through the traffic jam.

“I am glad that they are busy,” Chief Ryan said. “We are all glad they’re busy, but we have to come up with a solution to solve the traffic problems. It’s now becoming a safety issue.”

Some customers parked their cars on Westchester Avenue and handed the valet the keys.

“That is not acceptable,” Chief Ryan said. “We have asked them to increase their valet service. We have come up with some temporary solutions, but they are only temporary.”

There are about 90 total parking spaces on the premises. The restaurant staff, comprised of about 60 employees, takes up about half the available spots. The stated goal for the restaurant is to serve 600 patrons a night.

One of the temporary solutions proposed by the town is to require restaurant personnel to park in the Town Park parking lot.

“That’s only a solution until April because the parking lot is filled by parents involved in Little League,” Chief Ryan said. “We have asked them to communicate with the school district to see if they can use the Pound Ridge Elementary School parking lot for staff.”

Chief Ryan and town supervisor Dick Lyman asked them to find space for parking on the restaurant property.

The parking situation came to a head on Feb. 15, at 6:45 p.m., when, while on patrol, police officer Ken Donato observed seven motor vehicles parked behind Conant Hall. In his report, Officer Donato stated that he asked a valet parking the cars whether they belonged to the Inn’s patrons.

The valet said that his manager, James Liakakos, told him that cars could be parked behind the hall if there were no events scheduled. The Pound Ridge Theatre Company had reserved the hall and the parking area that day, the valet said, but the performance had been cancelled.

However, before the start of the Pound Ridge Theatre Company’s performance of “Love Letters” on Feb. 7, one of the cast members had to park in the Library parking lot and walk up to Conant Hall because there were no spaces available behind the hall. Customers of the Inn had taken all the spaces.

Officer Donato then met with Mr. Liakakos and advised him that parking behind the hall was prohibited. He directed Mr. Liakakos to remove the cars from the area. Mr. Liakakos said that he must have misunderstood the rules for parking behind the hall, apologized, and said the cars would be moved.

Officer Donato returned to the Conant Hall parking after a while lot to find the original cars as well as five additional cars parked there. The officer confronted the valet and asked why his previous directive had not been obeyed. The valet told Officer Donato that Mr. Liakakos said that it was OK to park the vehicles behind the hall. Officer Donato ordered the valet to remove all of the cars.

Officer Donato intended to talk to Mr. Liakakos but had to respond to another call.

Over an hour later, he returned to the Inn to find a line of cars extending halfway to the Town Park on the northbound side of Westchester Avenue and equally backed up on the southbound side.

Pound Ridge police officer Tom Ritchey responded to Officer Donato’s call for help with traffic control. “Our concerted efforts took approximately 30 minutes before we were able to realize one travel lane which was passable,” Officer Donato’s report stated. “During the next 45 minutes we were able to create a condition where both lanes were passable.”

The report stated that police presence was necessary to aid cars entering and exiting the restaurant parking.

According to the report, Mr. Liakakos apologized to Officer Donato for the confusion. “At that time, I expressed my disappointment in his and his employee’s deliberate efforts to disobey my previous directives,” the report stated. “I reminded Mr. Liakakos that he explicitly agreed to comply and then deliberately failed to comply, and that resulted in a serious public safety condition.”

The report stated that Mr. Liakakos asked Officer Donato, “What am I supposed to do? I have reservations I have to honor.”

Calls to Mr. Liakakos and an attorney for the Inn were not returned by press time.

Mr. Lyman said that at Tuesday’s meeting he made it clear to all present that Pound Ridge police officers must be obeyed.

“I said that it was important for people to understand that when a police officer enters their building with an order, because there is something wrong, they better sit up and take notice,” he said.

According to Chief Ryan, Ms. Tropin apologized for the behavior of her employees and said that wouldn’t happen again.

“Both Jean-Georges and Ms. Tropin left very nice messages on my phone this morning,” Chief Ryan said. “They said that while they glad they were busy, they were sorry for causing headaches.”


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