Thursday, February 01, 2007

SHOULD MICKEY'S HOT DOG STAND ON JACKSON AVE BE ALLOWED TO STAY OPEN?

An article in today's Journal News (www.lohud.com) -"Greenburgh has beef with longtime hot-dog stand" reports that Mickey's snack bar was forced to close last month - after 78 years of selling food on Jackson Ave. The Building Department enforced a law that bars roadside vendors in residential areas. Mickey Difate, 96 years old, stopped working at the snack bar last year. The hot dog stand did not operate for a number of months. He now resides at an assisted living center. A family member was planning to take over the business and continue operating the hot dog stand.
The property is zoned for a residential purposes. The Difate's can apply for a zoning variance. Would you support giving Mickey's snack bar the variance so they can continue operating their hot dog stand? Or, should the town not make any exceptions to our law?
One resident wrote to me--suggesting that this snack bar is a local landmark in town. Another person pointed out that a snack bar is preferable to residential development at the site.
What do you think?

43 comments:

Paul Feiner said...

I would support the variance request so that this landmark can continue serving the community. The current laws do not allow Mickey's to continue operating. It's an illegal non conforming use. However, Mickey and his family can apply for a variance.
I would prefer a hot dog stand to more development. The hot dog stand bothers no one.

Paul Feiner said...

I would support the variance request so that this landmark can continue serving the community. The current laws do not allow Mickey's to continue operating. It's an illegal non conforming use. However, Mickey and his family can apply for a variance.
I would prefer a hot dog stand to more development. The hot dog stand bothers no one.

hal samis said...

If the Town can sustain a dog park, it can also live with a hot dog stand.

Besides Mickey's hot dogs are so good, nearly everyone eats them with relish.

chazz said...

Keep historical aspects 0f the community. The only people that would object are developers. A variance by all means.

Stephanie said...

Let Mickey's stay!!! Memories of my childhood abound when I pass the spot.

Anonymous said...

Mickey's Hot Dog Stand should be considered an historic site - he has had this business going for 78 years - plus, I understand, he owns the land that he is on. Every time I go by, there are never any cars stopped that are a hazard to the rest of the public. They are able to pull well off the road. I think Greenburgh should find more pertinent things to take care of!!!

Paul Feiner said...

I'd like to thank people who have expressed their views on this topic. I have spoken to Mickey and his lawyer today and advised them that I will play an active role in the effort to help him keep his stand open. I will attend hearings on his behalf before the Zoning Board and will encourage others to join the effort.

Anonymous said...

The Hot Dog stand that I pass everyday on my way home doesn't bother me either. However the truth of the matter is this! I was starving one day and stopped in at that "Hot Dog" stand only to find it was filthy dirty, roach invested and many other food violations evident. I hope that the family taking over the stand will clean up thier act and serve the public better. So I really can't tell you if the Hot Dogs are that good or not!!!

Anonymous said...

While I have never eaten a hot dog from this stand, it has been there for many years and does not seem to bother anyone. I have passed it on the road many times and it had regular clientele.

You could almost call it historic. Anyway, this is a perfect example of "grandfathering". It was there before our zoning laws and never was a considered a nuisance

I see no objections.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how Paul seems so willing today to grant a variance for this particular vendor, but at last week's town board meeting, when a resident complained about other street vendors operating unlawfully,he expressed no such sympathy.

Why should this vendor get a variance and not the others? Will the town supervisor play an "active role" as he put it in appearing before the zoning board on behalf of all the other street vendors in the town?

Why aren't the other street vendors entitled to the same treatment? Shouldn't everyone be treated equally?

Why does Paul think some street vendors are more equal than others?

Does Mickey's really think having Paul Feiner play the role of "hot dog" before the zoning board will actually help get the variance Mickey's needs?

For an amusing answer, check out the following link:

http://www.sheezyart.com/view/456354/

Anonymous said...

There is another issue: the alternative. If a variance is not issued the property will be developed into a residence. That would not be great.

hal samis said...

I anticipate that we are about five more blog entries away from someone complaining about the proliferation of fast food restaurants in Greenburgh...or making a mountain out of mustard.

Think of this as a victimless crime.

However, if Mickey's fall prey to outraged citizenry, maybe "Mickey" would want to operate the cafe in the Greenburgh Library.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner,
recently you suggested that the former Carvel Icecream Stand on Central Avenue be designated a Landmark,now you suggest the same designation for Mickeys Hot Dog Stand.
Fortunately your icecream suggestion was a flash in the pan,
it seems to have gone away you most
likely agreed that the Carvel stand was nothing more than a
run down vendors shack.
Now you are directing your attention not to the problems of the town,but to the preservation of what used to be a very much dirty hot dog vendors stand,dirty on the inside,not at all sanitary food handling,on property fenced in by home made barricades.
I have passed Mickeys truck for some 45 years,it has become a greater eyesore with every passing year.
I have bought one of Mickeys hot dogs some 15 years ago,never got up the nerve to buy another one.
You are concerned with the possibility of residential development on the Mickey property.
Most of the property is restricted
by Con Edison installations,that may leave room for one or two new homes for people that want to live
under the Con Edison power lines along a major thru street.
So whilst you incite puplic opinion
against development of a home or two on Jackson Avenue, you don't lift a finger to stop Toll Brothers from building 25 high cost
residences on 41 acres of wilderness,commenly known as Gel-Sprain,within a mile or two of Mickeys hot dog stand.
I am seriously wondering how you arrive at your priorities.
I have seen Mickeys families new truck,a great improvement over Mickeys old vehicle.Unfortunately
it does not improve the property.
If you have time to spend with the Planning Board for a Mickey variance,I will do my best to organize a group of citizens that will ask the Town Board to enforce
present town law,and at the same time direct your attention to the
41 acres of wilderness that Toll Brothers wants to destroy.

Ken Stahn said...

Short and simple, I do not consider Mickey's a landmark or a problem or a law breaking event because this law is meant to stop the stands on a road not off road on 1/2 acre of land. If John Ludcido a building inspector had an issue with this since 1992 why did he not have an issue since 2002 when Christmas Trees and Wreaths were sold at this site. At any given time from Thanksgiving till Christmas and especially the last 10/12 days it was atraffic event at that location from rush hour to 10 PM.
I do not want two homes there or could i imagine anybody wanting to live there that said i could care less if Mickey's stays or goes but in the real world just like rent control and Giant season tickets as long as it is in the family it just passes on till the chain breaks i have been waiting 40 years for Giant tickets that Grandchildren of the orginal owner long death have. Paul if an 1/2 acre is so important why not 41 arce of GelSprain ? Oh thats right 25 2 million dollar home WOW what a tax win fall.OK FIGHT FOR MICKEY AND HIS FAMILY THAT A GOOD THING BUT I CAN NOT HELP UNLESS YOU LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE JUST 1 MILE AWAY 25 HOMES ON GELSPRAIN AND 14 ON HILLTOP AND ANOTHER 12 IN ADRSLEY ACROSS FROM THE MIDDLE SCHOOL NOT SURE OF NAME OF DEVELOPER.

Anonymous said...

Lucido has his priorities all messed up. Another artical in the Journal News was about an illegal rooming house with a long history of that and it burnt down. Mabe he should enforce some of these real hazards rather than a trivial hot dog stand.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Supervisor Feiner for caring about the little guy.

Anonymous said...

Let Mickeys stay!!

Anonymous said...

This is the worst waste of time I've seen in quite a while! Mickey's has been there for almost 80 years - that's got to pre-date most zoning laws and even if it doesn't, residential area? Are you kidding? It's practically under the power lines and adjacent to the Sprain - I wouldn't want to live there!

I WANT MY HOT DOGS! Leave Mickey's alone!!!

Maybe you should pay more attention to Route 9A in the Elmsford area and Route 119 if you want to enforce zoning or other town ordinances!

Anonymous said...

Leave the DiFte's alone. The stand has been there 78 years and the whole thing stinks of a building inspector doing it because he can. The building inspector is coming off as just wanting to flex his muscles.

Moreover there is no one complaining, so leave them alone. Give them the variance or whatever else you have to do. I think the hot dog stand has a good case for latches. The town does not enforce the code for 78 years and now you want to. I think you waived it. I am suprised that the DiFate's have not gotten an attorney to file a temporay restraining order in Westchester Supreme Court allowing them to operate until they can get the varience. And if the varinece is denied, I would recommend that they bring an action against the town to allow them to stay.

Christina said...

Let Mickey's stay. The variance is definitely in order. Save the hot dog; and save this off-road-side stand.

Anonymous said...

Let Mickey's stay, it is a landmark.

Anonymous said...

Long live Mickey's. It's an institution!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I stopped at that stand once. It was the dirtiest truck I had ever seen in my life. I was surprised that the Board of Health hadn't closed it down. I had trouble getting out of the lot because of the amount of traffic on Jackson Ave. When I saw that the stand was closed I figured that the town closed it because of traffic concerns. The traffic today is much heavier than when I stopped at that stand 15 years ago. I think that Mr. Feiner should consider the many accidents noted on that sign he placed on the roadway when he considers reopening the lot for a bigger and more improved snack truck.

Anonymous said...

It is a bad precedent....other "rent free" businesses will appear and we will have a CONEY ISLAND atmosphere in
Greenburgh.
There are lots of tax paying stores for RENT and they should pay as does everyone else that has a legitimate business.
Sorry to be a
Scrooge lbut think of the future....
thanks for letting me vent!!!

Anonymous said...

Let the hot dog stand where it has been for 78 years. And let the family continue to operate it without any government red tape and that includes a variance hearing. Let's just get a ruling that it's a non-conforming use and let the DiFate's alone to operate their business.

Anonymous said...

If he owns the property, dosent he pay taxes?

Anonymous said...

Right on Lucido.

Anonymous said...

Right on Lucido.

Anonymous said...

I think that Mickey's should be allowed to stay. That said, I say this because I believe in grandfathering this stand, not because I believe that an exception should be made. An agreement should be signed by the Town and the family that spells out the conditions under which this stand can continue to operate, namely ownership by a direct descendant of the original Mickey.

Anonymous said...

Supervisor Feiner is unlike most politicians. He takes an interest in the underdog. Mickey is the underdog. Go get em, Mickey! Keep fighting for what is right Paul!

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank WFAS Radio and Supervisor Feiner for supporting Mickey. I hope that the council members will listen to Jay Michaels who did a beautiful job on WFAS Radio Thursday speaking out for the continued operation of Mickey's hotdog stand. Town council members: where are you? We need you!

Anonymous said...

I would like to open a restaurant in my home. I live in the residential part of greenburgh.I have a large plot of land with space for parking. Change the law

Anonymous said...

Why should the town make life miserable for hard working people who don't bother anyone?

Ang said...

Mr. Feiner,
The courtesy was issued to Mickey and I believe it should end there. If he is as famous as everyone said he is, then his siblings should have no problem opening up a business in a nearby area with the same name; "Mickey's Hot Dog Stand" and continue to profit. If you allow this family to do this you'll have to allow everyone else also. (it's the law)
In the complex where I live we have a no pets policy, that stipulates if you had a pet when the complex went co-op, you could keep it, but upon it's demise, you could no longer get a new one. Well I think this is similar, as Mickey can no longer continue his business. WE WISH HIM WELL. MAY GOD BLESS HIM.

Anonymous said...

The current town law provides people with the opportunity to request variances. Mickey can request a variance --he should receive the approval. Do we want open space or a residential development at his location. The hot dog stand will have the least impact on our community.

Anonymous said...

Hope that the Zoning Board and Town Board will join thousands of hot dog lovers and supervisor Feiner in supporting a variance request so Mickey's hot dog stand can continue to serve us for many years to come. Mickey, you looked great on TV!

GZee said...

I think that the hotdog stand should stay and be grandfathered in. No one except the developers would want to be there anyway. It's an odd little pocket of land. To be fair to others the variance could limit the ownership to only direct members of the family. Many comments have chided Paul Feiner for paying attention to this stand and not to the big developments encroaching on our "wilderness" areas. I don't think one is less important than the other. It is caring for the little guy, and a willingness to bend a little to hold onto the interesting aspects of our community. This stand doesn't hurt anyone, doesn't ensnarl traffic and keeps tradition alive.

Anonymous said...

This stand represents the simple things we used to love. I hate the big franchize restaurants. Mickeys Hot Dogs were OK taste-wide, but he gave us the personal attention we crave for when we want to buy a hot dog. I'm glad that our supervisor is working to preserve the stand.

Anonymous said...

Although the current law does not protect Mickey, the man has created a landmark to community, small-business and the All-American Joe. Mr. Feiner, please allow the diFates to continue their historical business. At 97 years old, Mickey should live to see that his Jackson Ave. lot lives on in his family.

Anonymous said...

MIKEYS HOT DOG STAND WAS DIRTY !!!

Anonymous said...

Mickey's stand is americana at its best

Anonymous said...

PAUL, who owns the rest of that strip,where MICKEY'S SO CALLED LANDMARK WHEELS IN AND OUT. How about an answer on this sight.

Anonymous said...

Mickey's hot dog stand is awesome! They aren't hurting anyone and it is a landmark!! What would Jackson Avenue be without seeing Mickey's?