Letter To The Editor: Positive Outcome Ends Mamaroneck Ice Cream Shop Ire

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Ralph's Italian Ices and Ice Cream
Ralph's Italian Ices and Ice Cream Photo Credit: File photo

On Monday, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) held a number of hearings, one of which was a filed complaint about one of the Village of Mamaroneck’s new businesses, Ralph’s Italian Ices and Ice Cream. 

The big issue in front of the ZBA was whether or not the business was issued a certificate of occupancy fairly. While the Village of Mamaroneck’s building department, led by Dan Gray, did approve the business, it appears it was done so in haste. According to the village’s code, businesses that operate a restaurant or food establishment must appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance and be provided a permit to operate. More so, properties changing its use (in this case a gas station to a food establishment) must also file an application with the ZBA. 

Len Violi, a member of the ZBA, also noted during deliberations that the Village of Mamaroneck purposely does not permit counter service establishments with one very grandfathered business exception, Walter’s Hot Dogs.

Neighbors, residents and others throughout the village turned up to illustrate to the ZBA why Ralph’s was unlawfully allowed to operate its business. And the residents were heard loud and clear. At nearly midnight, the ZBA ruled to revoke the certificate of occupancy issued to Ralph’s and issued a stay, provided that the business files a site plan with the village’s planning board by its September meeting, files for an application for a variance before the ZBA within 30 days, and within seven days, curtails its business closing hours from midnight to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

What was evident at the meeting was the fact that residents welcome new businesses in the village, however, since everyone must comply by the regulations set forth in the village code, so too must businesses. It was a win-win outcome for all – no one lost their business and residents received the dignity and respect they deserved.

This story will continue, but it was very evident that the Village of Mamaroneck’s code, while clumsy at times, does indeed have the right measures in place to ensure peace of mind among its residents.

Ilissa Miller

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