UPDATE MONDAY 1:21 p.m.:
East Hampton Town has withdrawn its request for a temporary restraining order against Cyril’s Fish House as of 1 p.m. this afternoon, according to Mr. Gunn.
“The electrical hazards had been addressed Friday and the remaining issue of the propane tank has now also been resolved,” Mr. Gunn said in an email statement. “The 500-pound propane tank in question has been removed from the site and four new 100-pound tanks have been installed at a location satisfactory to Chief Fire Marshal Browne. The matter of the TRO is now closed.”
The matter had been heard by Supreme Court Justice Thomas F. Whelan.
UPDATE FRIDAY, 6:45 p.m.:
Cyril’s Fish House will be able to operate through weekend, as long as the business does not use the propane tank currently on site, according to Mr. Gunn.
Mr. Gunn said representatives for Cyril’s Fish House reported in court on Friday that the electrical hazard issues were resolved by an electrician. The business must remove the propane tank by Monday at 2 p.m., otherwise the temporary restraining order would kick in, he said.
“To me, personally, it was a good compromise, because we covered the town on the safety issues and didn’t hurt his business,” Mr. Gunn said.
East Hampton Town is seeking a temporary restraining order against Cyril’s Fish House in New York State Supreme Court on Friday after officials said they uncovered serious safety issues, including liquid propane being stored close to exposed electrical wires, during an investigation at the business last Thursday.
But when reached on Friday afternoon, Cyril Fitzsimons, the owner of the bar and restaurant, said the town’s concerns had been resolved as of that morning.
“I had four electricians here this morning at 6 a.m.,” said Mr. Fitzsimons. “The fire marshal’s coming in at 4 p.m. to check everything. It’s all done.”
Assistant Town Attorney Patrick Gunn, who is also the town’s public safety administrator, said that was not the case and that the town was pressing forward with its effort to get the restraining order.
He said the Town Board sought the order after learning there was “liquid propane fuel storage in close proximity to electrical hazards.” The restraining order, which would shut the business down until the violations are corrected, is based on charges the town filed against the business in Town Justice Court this week, which included having exposed electrical wires inside storage containers, exposed electrical wires under roof overhangs and extension cords being used for portable appliances. He called them “a potentially life threatening and volatile combination.”
During the investigation, the town also forwarded environmental concerns to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, relating to the wetlands on the property, Mr. Gunn said, although he declined to be more specific.
Mr. Gunn said the town is “not looking to put anyone out of business.”
“We’re just looking to remedy this potentially explosive situation before they can operate,” he said.
The town should learn by Friday afternoon whether it will be granted the restraining order, Mr. Gunn added.
Cyril’s reopened for the season last Friday, according to Mr. Fitzsimons.
The town and the business have been in court since February 2012 over numerous charges related to an expansion without a building permit or certificate of occupancy. At any given time last year, the business had at least 65 Town Code violations levied against it each week, Mr. Gunn said. That number as of this week is close to 100, he said, with the new Justice Court charges relating to the liquid propane and electrical hazards.
Michael and Bonnie Dioguardi, the owners of the property, have filed a zone change application with the Town Board that their attorney, Dianne K. Le Verrier, maintains would put to rest the charges and finally address concerns about parking at the site. The Town Board has yet to act on that application.
Mr. Fitzsimons, who spends most of his year in the Caribbean, where he owns and operates three restaurants, said he doesn’t understand what there is to be concerned about.
“I’m just confused, that’s all,” he said. “I’ve been here for 23 years, never had a problem. The police have never been called here in 23 years. There’s never been a noise violation. I’ve done everything I can. So I’m just confused, that’s all.”