HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – The Town of Horseheads has sent a cease order to “The L”, an event center operating inside a church, saying it’s not operating within proper zoning requirements and following many complaints from local residents.

Horseheads Town Attorney John Mustico sent a cease order dated Feb. 6, 2023 to the pastor of Journey Church Scott Lowmaster, saying the church’s popular event center, The L, “should cease all commercial activities on the premises” until the organization applies for the proper zoning requirements.

According to the letter, the church previously applied to also operate commercial businesses on the property. When the church applied for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) amendment, the Town said it approved only the use of professional offices, not “the myriad of uses requested in its application.”

These uses currently include a fitness center, a barbershop, a wedding venue, The L concert venue, and a café, the Town said. Since the Town granted Journey approval for professional offices, the Town said the church has not applied for any updated permits with the Town.

According to Horseheads Town Supervisor Donald Fischer, the Town is waiting to hear back from the church’s attorney as of March 17, 2023.

18 News has reached out five times to Journey and The L to set up an interview. In response to our requests, they instead provided the following statement:

“Years ago, we had a vision of how we would serve this community.  We were grateful that town officials not only agreed with those plans, but supported and approved them. We are unsure why town officials now oppose our church’s efforts to serve our neighbors. But we are discussing the situation with the officials and hope to resolve things amicably. We love this town and hope to continue serving our community for years to come.”

The L

All of this follows rising concerns from people who live near the venue. On October 26, 2022, the Horseheads Town Board took nearly a dozen complaints from local residents about noise and disruptive behavior at The L on Breesport Rd., especially on nights the venue hosts concerts or other events.

The full cease letter sent to Journey from the Town of Horseheads: