The ongoing plans for an expansion of Daryl’s House Club in Pawling are moving ahead, more than 18 months after the project was originally announced. The venue has been a mainstay in the Dutchess County music scene for the past three years, and is seeking approval for an outdoor stage area for live performances to begin in May of 2018. Paperwork has been submitted to the Town of Pawling Planning Board, representing a crucial step forward for the club.
Opened on Halloween of 2014, Daryl’s House hosts a wide array of live performances, including several by owner Daryl Hall with his band, Hall and Oates. Friction arose earlier this year when the venue was served with a violation notice by a town building inspector on March 3. Daryl’s House was presented with a Notice of Violation – Order to Remedy when officials observed a number of cars in the parking lot that exceeded zoning regulations, as well as a headcount inside over capacity when visited by the fire marshal. The violation notice came when the venue was in the process of petitioning the Town of Pawling for approval of the plans for the new outdoor amphitheater.
The club was originally given a Certificate of Occupancy for 175 seated persons, or 318 standees. In the process of negotiations with the town government over the outdoor area, this number was revised down to 198 standees. On the night the violation occurred, the headcount numbered 206 standees.
In response to the violation an edict regarding the standing capacity of the club, Daryl’s House filed a lawsuit against the Town of Pawling and Town Supervisor David Kelly in the amount of $3.2 million. Filed on March 17, the suit alleged that the town’s revised maximum capacity would force the venue to close. It also accused the town of intentionally delaying approval of the outdoor amphitheater, which would play host to a summer concert series. Tensions arising from the lawsuit gave way to speculation that Daryl’s House would leave Pawling and seek a new location.
On June 27, the lawsuit was dismissed by the State Supreme Court in Poughkeepsie. Judge Victor Grossman declared the lawsuit “premature,” citing a lack of evidence that Pawling was attempting to enforce new occupancy regulations in exchange for approval of the outdoor venue. After the dismissal of the lawsuit, attorneys for both sides were pleased that negotiations between the venue and the Town of Pawling began to yield positive results.
The proposed expansion of Daryl’s House would include the construction of a stage directly behind the venue, with an ideal capacity of 2,000 guests. Also under consideration are locations for a satellite parking lot in Pawling that could hold 300 additional cars. Guests would then be shuttled to the venue by bus. Daryl’s House is seeking to hold their outdoor concert series from May 16 through October 1 of next year.
Town officials are now reviewing plans for the expansion. This process will also pay careful attention to lighting and ensuring that parking requirements are fulfilled. Additionally, sound tests were scheduled to take place at the location on October 14 to examine the potential impact on the area surrounding the venue.
As the expansion of Daryl’s House moves forward, the club and the Town of Pawling look forward to continuing to build a positive relationship. Cooperation between the two will not only yield results for the local music scene, but also bolster tourism and commerce throughout Pawling and Dutchess County.