Kennebunk ME Choose Board to mull rezoning Barnard Tavern property

KENNEBUNK, Maine – A proposal to vary the zoning for the Barnard Tavern property to make means for a brand new inn has cleared the planning board and is now within the choose board’s palms.

The planning board voted 4-1 on Monday, Feb. 14, to cross on to the choose board, with a optimistic suggestion, a request to vary the zoning at 9 Barnard Lane from residential to mixed-use.

The property, owned by Randy and Kari Gates, abuts the mixed-use zone, so the proposed zone change, if authorized, can be an extension. At a earlier assembly, most planning board members spoke in assist of the change, discussing parking and setback considerations and different points however agreeing that the proposal is consistent with the city’s zoning ordinance and complete plan.

“I believe it is smart for this parcel to be included in there, in that zone,” Planning Board Chair Chris MacClinchy mentioned on Monday.

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Board member Richard Smith begged to vary, offering the lone dissenting vote. He mentioned he considers the present Village Residential Zone as a greater wanting gateway into the city. Smith famous, nevertheless, that not one of the neighbors spoke concerning the proposal through the public listening to the board had held moments earlier.

“I believe it’s incorrect, but when no one who lives there cares … I assume it’s a moot level,” Smith mentioned.

Jo Johnson, who as soon as owned the tavern, has a deed restriction on the property that claims the historic construction is probably not torn down. Johnson has not commented publicly concerning the property since informing the planning board in a Dec. 3 letter that she has little interest in releasing the restriction.

Again in 2016, when Johnson offered the tavern, she additionally gave the city the best to implement the deed restriction – an association that the city had no thought about till early final 12 months. In November, voters licensed the city to waive its proper to implement the restriction.

Since then, the Gateses have gained some momentum within the efforts to rehab the tavern and return it to its earlier days of being an inn. Earlier than the planning board superior their zoning proposal to the choose board on Monday, the city’s Historic Preservation Fee authorized the couple’s plan to deconstruct and reconstruct the outdated construction.

City Planner Brittany Howard mentioned the choose board seemingly will begin discussing the proposed zoning change in April. If the board advances the request, then voters could have the ultimate say on the annual city assembly.

In a latest interview, Kari Gates mentioned she hopes crews can start the deconstruction in March, beginning with placing in a brand new basis and having framing in place as quickly as June.

“All the things is able to go when the bottom is able to go,” Gates mentioned.

Gates mentioned she plans to have the inn full and open for enterprise by Saint Patrick’s Day 2023. Between every now and then, a lot work must be performed on the construction.

Gates mentioned Johnson’s deed restriction may nonetheless “probably” be a hurdle to the plans she and her husband have for the tavern. She added that she hopes to satisfy with Johnson earlier than work begins on the website this spring.

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