SENNETT | Owners of the Bucket BBQ, a new restaurant in the town of Sennett, found themselves one step closer to their scheduled opening date despite one minor glitch.

Michael Henty, Gary Robinson and Tim Gillooly, with Executive Chef Marc Albino who own and operate Rosalie's Cucina in Skaneateles, purchased the building with plans to open the restaurant after Christmas last year.

For years, the building was plagued with zoning board issues but so far, the new owners have made steady progress. Over the last few months, they've appealed to the town board to approve changes. And on Thursday night, they approached the Sennett Planning Board with one more request to approve the construction of a shed for the restaurant's smoker.

The addition would be to protect the equipment only, they said. And while the town's local law prevents enlarging or expanding the restaurant, Zoning Code Enforcement Officer Howard Tanner said that the addition would only accommodate equipment and doesn't enlarge or expand the restaurant.

"Whether or not the addition of the smoker constitutes an expansion is not an issue," he said.

Planning board officials agreed with Tanner and voted to approve the construction. But shortly after their consensus, they were faced with a minor detail that potentially nullified their decision.

Scott Chatfield, planning board attorney for the town of Sennett, addressed a necessary problem that needed clarification before moving forward.

"The problem under municipal law is that any site plan must be referred to the county planner for recommendation," he said. " You can choose to take those recommendations or not, but regardless the referral is required."

He added: "Until you've done the referral process you are deprived from granting the approval."

Officials agreed that they had no issue with the site plan presented. And to help move the project forward and under Tanner's recommendation, all agreed to amend the resolution to approve the preliminary site plan approval based on the response from the county.

Tanner plans to send the site plan to Cayuga County Planning Director Steve Lynch on Friday, he said. In the meantime, planning officials and the owners can continue to stay on track with the restaurant's progress, he said.

"Doing it this way allows us to continue with the project no matter what," Tanner said. "We'll get the county's recommendations but no matter what we will continue with the project as planned."

Staff writer Sistina Giordano can be reached at 282-2237 or Follow her on Twitter at CitizenGiordano.

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