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Site Plan For Carriage House Restaurant Stumbles Over Issues of Old Swimming Pool, Debris

Planning Board members want more detail from Groton Inn property owner George Pergantis and his engineer Jeff Brem before they make any decision on the Special Permit/Site Plan Review applications before them. Pergantis is proposing to open a seafood restaurant in an existing building at the rear of the property that will also serve as a function hall. However, Brem could not make much progress toward a decision by the board and the public hearing was again continued, this time to December 10 at 8:30 p.m.

Brem brought forward the floor plan that was requested by the Building Inspector in a letter to the Planners read at an earlier hearing that outlined the detail of the interior space. "The facility can actually accommodate 314 occupants, but we propose 154 seats - 96 in the function hall and 64 in the restaurant," Brem told the board. Planning Board Chairman John Giger said that there was a new sign in front of the property and it says that the location will accommodate up to 200. Brem said he was unaware of the sign. Pergantis told the board that it was a repaint of the old sign that was already there. Land Use Director Michelle Collette added that any sign for the facility must have a Historic District Commission permit before it is installed.

Planner Russ Burke asked about the old swimming pool and a filled area that was not shown on the Site Plan. Brem responded that this was located outside the area where the work would be done. Burke said he wanted to see a plan of all the property including the pool, an area that has been filled and an area that is covered in debris. Brem advised that the Board of Health has jurisdiction over the unused pool, asking, "Do you want us to fill it in or what?" Burke responded, "Not having it (shown) makes it an incomplete site plan." He added, "We are only requiring the same things as any applicant; the Fire Station. GELD, - and we talked about things off the site. This is the way we have practiced in the past."

Brem advised that he could find nothing in town's regulations regarding a pool, - adding that there are references to buildings and parking, but not pools. Member Carolyn Perkins said that the regs refer to all existing and proposed structures that must be shown. Brem asked if the board considered the pool a structure.

Burke said that the board didn't know about the topography of the site, and locations of wetlands lines. Brem responded that there was no work being conducted at the rear of the property - where wetlands are located.

Chairman Giger read a letter from member George Barringer, who was not in attendance, that said he felt that the pool was a health/safety issue, that the whole pool area should be maintained or removed entirely and backfilled. He also said that all the debris should be removed and safely and legally disposed of.

Burke reiterated that he wanted to "see a Site Plan that included the entire lot, the limits of wetlands, flood plain lines, contours (from secondary sources) structures including the pool and fence, location of debris and material on site that is not there naturally, proposed lighting and any easement lines that may exist."

Pergantis pleaded with the board, "I tried to open last year, I tried to open. You shot me down, shot me down. You people don't want it. I am going to sell. I am not coming back here again. The Inn is gone, It's not historic there. You people never helped me, and I have lived for 37 years in this town. I am very angry - nobody will help me."

Chairman Giger explained that the Planning Board needed all this information so they can go into deliberations, and address the requested waivers for the site. He also said he thought it would be best if Pergantis put in writing the limit on occupancy so that the Board can address the requested waiver for the 11 parking spaces.

Burke commented, "I have no problem with the parking waiver. We have other restaurants with no parking." The other members agreed and also agreed that they would waive the filing fee as they had suggested that Pergantis withdraw his application and resubmit it. Burke said, however, he wants to see some sort of landscape plan, in particular location of trees.

Groton Herald

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