.

Planning Board Yanks Westchester Burger's Outdoor Seating

Failure to comply with board's requirements given as reason.

Incensed by what they believed to be non-compliance for fixing issues on the property, Mount Kisco Planning Board members agreed on revoking limited outdoor seating.

The agreement was decided at the board's June 26 meeting and involved revoking a small-scale operation that was permitted while the company resolved a series of outstanding issues for the property, which is at 353 N. Bedford Rd. The sentiment was informal, not by a vote, and directed to the building department to enforce.

At the meeting, board Chairman Joseph Cosentino explained that those matters included having a landscape plan that was approvable, repairing guard-rail fencing, fixing the lighting, repairing a side exit, and "finalizing all other aspects of site compliance."

“It has been months without any of these items being addressed and site has become a fiasco," Cosentino said critically. An appearance on the comapny's behalf was requested but nobody showed up to the meeting.

Additionally, Cosentino blasted the company's handling of its dumpster, which he said had no required closure, and thus exposed items to neighbors and patrons.

“This simply cannot continue," he said.

Westchester Burger Company is seeking a larger, permanent seating operation. According to meeting minutes from April 10, it is requesting a total of 13 tables for the outdoor area, up from the 10 that previous restaurants at the property had. Previous occupants included John's Best and . The reason for being able to add more, according to the minutes, is because a pergola was removed.

Cosentino regretted giving past authorization of limited dining, and demanded that, going forward, written confirmation of the maximum seating capacity be given before permament approval.

Westchester Burger Company, Cosentino argued, is also required to provide all of its parking on site, which he said has not happened. Among examples claimed, Cosentino described people having to cross a street or coming from nearby property to get to the restaurant. He added that interconnected parking with a nearby Sleepy's site was blocked off as of the meeting date.

Less sympathetic, Cosentino argued that the board may need to consider the propriety "of authorizing any outdoor seating."

He added: “In fact, outdoor seating may need to come at the expense of indoor seating.”

Other board members were not sympathetic, either, and agreed with pulling the seating.

“The site is unsightly, to say the least,” said board member Ralph Vigliotti. He described the area as dirty and accused the restaurant of having an overflowing dumpster area.

"Close ‘em down!” said board member Stanley Bernstein, expressing his support for pulling the seating.

Vincent Corso, Westchester Burger Company's general manager of operations, is listed in the minutes as having represented the business before the board. Attempts to interview Corso for comment were unsucessful.

Since the order was given, the limited outdoor seating has been removed. The restaurant has been asked to comply with the board's demands before further action is taken.

Pam Rosman July 03, 2012 at 11:10 AM
At times that I've been to this restaurant, the inside tables were so close together that you felt you were dining with the people next to you and no one, including the skinny waitresses, could easily fit between the tables. Aren't there some safety issues here?
Chris Kaye July 03, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I have heard from many people that doing business in Mt. Kisco is becoming untenable due to this boards intransigence. Something is terrible wrong here and it needs an outside, nonpartisan investigation to get to the bottom of this boards demands and actions.
Mike July 03, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I totally agree with Chris. Their "power-trip" actions only impact our residents from enjoying local life and will continue to impact decisions of business people to set up shop here in town. Very disappointing...
Tom Auchterlonie (Editor) July 03, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I spoke with Mount Kisco Building Inspector Austin Cassidy this morning and he gave me some updates. Westchester Burger Company intends to comply, he explained. As noted in the story, they have already removed the outdoor seating and are retaining contractors to correct the issues, according to an update that Cassidy said was from Corso. The goal is for WBC is to appear before the Planning Board at its July 10 meeting, when the permanent outdoor dining application would be discussed.
John Heidgerd July 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Westchester Burger is a great success and benefiIt to the people of greater mt kisco. I'm ashamed of the elitism of the planning board and its apparent mission to frustrate local businesses and property owners who make our area a great place to live. Shame on you planning board. A fiasco? Really?
Portia Torte July 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Removed the outdoor seating? There was outdoor seating when the Pizza place was there. What's the problem with this board? The dumpster I can understand, but the other "violations" aren't worth the "fiasco" comment. We have to be mindful that this is the zoning board that kept the A&P/Target shopping center from being built for an indordinately long time, and also seems to have kept Home Depot out in favor a local hardware/lumber store that is now out of business, how about a Home Depot so we don't have to drive 20 miles?
James Wilson July 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I agree with you and Chris and any other upstanding, true American who believes in our state's constitution; which allows for freedom just like the one for the entire United States of America. Why be so stupid and work towards killing business? Why destroy the tax base; private companies? The only reason, I can see, is that they think they can continue to raise the taxes on we the people and our property every year. That day is over, we are taxed-out, and our property is no longer at the assessed value written on your pieces of paper. Next year we will see a massive reduction in our tax liability due to the devalueazation of all of our homes.
PB Mars July 10, 2012 at 01:29 PM
whooooa....we have enough congestion, this is about the zoning board that for twenty five years has been a hinderance...the town has grown way too much and i am not asking to bring back the bazaar mall and it is too bad richards had to close...too bad lloyds closed too and tj max opened up.
Hal July 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM
sounds like the old yogi berra-ism about nobody going to a restaurant because it's too crowded. concur with other voices about the local boards making it impossible for small businesses to flourish in mount kisco. one only has to look at the number of vacant store fronts on main street

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something