Restaurant owner says town approved then halted outdoor seating plans for Phase 2 reopening

Zapata Mexican restaurant’s owner is eager to serve his customers the best way possible under Phase 2 guidelines, but Orangetown officials disagree with the construction proposal.

News 12 Staff

Jun 16, 2020, 9:14 PM

Updated 1,431 days ago

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Zapata Mexican restaurant’s owner is eager to serve his customers the best way possible under Phase 2 guidelines, but Orangetown officials disagree with the construction proposal.
Christian Godinez and his family have been serving the Palisades community for 17 years and are eager to get back to seating customers for the sake of their livelihoods. Godinez says pavers would increase comfortability for customers.
“I need to make money, we need to survive, we have bills to pay,” says Godinez.
The owner says last week Orangetown officials approved the Palisades restaurant's plan for temporary outdoor seating, including a verbal agreement about laying of pavers following years of trying to get it approved.
However, when the construction work began this week - Godinez says officials changed their mind and said pavers weren’t permitted.
“It’s not a permanent patio," says Godinez. "I’m just putting pavers in so I can level the ground and give my customers a better experience.”
Godinez insists the tables and chairs will be put away once the permit ends.
“I’m asking for them to accept what we’re trying to do, we’re not trying to harm anybody,” he says.
While Orangetown officials could not comment on the conversation with the Palisades restaurant owner, they say for the temporary permit, any work done needs to be temporary and that the proposed pavers would not be.
Additionally, the representatives say the plan did not detail or show that pavers would be used.
The Mexican restaurant owner says he will be using approved materials in his space in the meantime to provide outdoor dining. He plans to continue to apply to get pavers for the sake of the family business.


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