Daryl’s House Suing Pawling [UPDATE]
Update, 3/28 at 1PM: This article has been updated with additional comments from attorneys representing Daryl's House and the Town of Pawling.
The Town of Pawling is being taken to court by Daryl's House, the music and food venue owned by Daryl Hall.
The town board held a special meeting on Monday for the purpose of retaining the law firm of Stenger, Roberts, Davis, & Diamond, LLP to defend the town in the action that will be heard by Supreme Court Justice Grossman in Dutchess County Supreme Court.
The suit concerns the town's attempts to alter the occupancy limits of the establishment. Originally, the concert hall was allotted over 300 guests and the town is changing it to approximately 150.
Pawling Town Supervisor David Kelly refrained from commenting on pending litigation citing town policy.
Daryl's House is represented by the law firm of William Sayegh of Carmel.
"The case alleges that the Town of Pawling has attempted to enforce illegal edicts concerning the number of patrons that may enter the restaurant under the guise of fire safety and newly raised parking concerns," Sayegh said. "Daryl’s House has been operating for years in full compliance with previously issued Town approvals. The case seeks damages and an injunction against further attempts by the Town to enforce an illegal post Certificate of Occupancy reduction and to restrain the Town from blocking the ongoing backyard concert approval process."
According to Ken Stenger, who is representing the town, the lawfully permitted occupancy levels for Daryl's House are set by the State of New York. Presently, those occupancy limits are set at 175 people when tables and chairs are in use and 318 when they are not.
Stenger continued to comment on the lawsuit by saying "present enforcement activities by the Town of Pawling seek compliance with those occupancy limits, not a lower number."
The Town of Pawling's attorney also said that it appears that the local management of Daryl's House may have engaged in the practice of overselling the venue.
"Anyone driving down Route 22 on a Saturday night can plainly see that it routinely overparks its lot which is a violation of Town Zoning Code which is an issue separate from occupancy limits," Stenger said. "The commencement of this litigation may have been intended to distract from those issues."
A court date has been set for April 21.