Board Okays Aggressive Action Against Cyril's Fish House

Cyril's Fish House on Montauk Highway between Amagansett and Montauk is a popular afternoon spot for summer crowds to get a post-beach or pre-nightclub drink. East Hampton Town officials voted Thursday to aggressively seek resolution of multiple alleged zoning code violations there. Morgan McGivern

The East Hampton Town Board voted unanimously on Thursday to authorize new legal action against Cyril’s Fish House, a popular Napeague bar and restaurant with multiple unresolved zoning violations.

The resolution paved the way for the town attorney to seek an court injunction to stop ongoing alleged violations of the town’s building and zoning codes.

Town officials have issued dozens of citations to Cyril's for more than a decade for structures on the property without permits or site plan approval and illegal clearing in wetlands and unauthorized expansion.

The property owners, Bonnie and Michael Dioguardi of Hicksville, and their attorneys had been in East Hampton Town Justice Court previously on those charges.

Elizabeth Vail, the lead East Hampton Town attorney, declined to provide details about what is planned but said in an email that the town board’s vote allows her office “to seek all appropriate relief to ensure Town Code violations at the subject property are removed.”

She said that the move follows a section of state law that “authorizes seeking injunctive relief to stop violations of the town's building and zoning codes.”

It is not clear if the town will seek an injunction barring the seasonal opening of Cyril’s for the coming summer. Its roadside bar, which draws large crowds that spill onto the edge of Montauk Highway, is leased from the Dioguardis and run by Cyril Fitzsimons, who closes up shop each winter. Cyril’s generally reopens in early spring.

The Dioguardis had asked the town last year to change the property's zoning designation from residential to neighborhood business, in the hope that the less-strict regulations would allow them to resolve some of the issues.

Despite support from two members of the previous town board, the request failed to get a majority after a large turnout at a hearing last March by citizens opposed to the change. The Suffolk County Planning Commission also expressed concerns about the site.

Cyril's is popular with weekend afternoon crowds drawn by a chance to mingle with one another and, if they can actually reach the bartenders, order its signature B.B.C.s.