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Pridwin Phase I project is a done deal

“Phase I” of the Pridwin Hotel project — renovations to the existing structure — got unanimous support from the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit at its Oct. 16 meeting.

ZBA members voted 4-0 to turn down an appeal from attorney Albert D’Agostino representing Jack Sahl. ZBA member William Johnston III was absent for the vote. Approval came within the time frame owners Glenn and Gregg Petry had requested to begin construction on Phase I this month so it can be completed prior to Memorial Day 2020.

Mr. D’Agostino had told the ZBA at a previous meeting that his client didn’t object to upgrading the existing hotel and restaurant, but wanted the traffic pattern changed so vehicles would both enter and leave the premises from Shore Road, and trees used to buffer noise from the site. Both were agreeable to the Petry brothers.

Still, Mr. D’Agostino questioned the involvement of Cape Advisors executive Curtis Bagshaw, and Cape Advisors project manager Rob Coburn, who will be overseeing construction. Cape Advisors is a New York City-based real estate development and management firm.

Mr. D’Agostino argued that the company should have been listed on the application along with the Petry brothers, but that wasn’t a consideration for the ZBA, despite Mr. Coburn’s contention that there would be involvement in both the construction and operation of the hotel.

Mr. D’Agostino said there are more concerns about “Phase II,” which would include construction of an “activities center” to be used for weddings and other events as well as providing a place for other activities by hotel guests.

He argued that the project had falsely been split into two phases, saying there should have been a single project application.

Glenn Petry said the reason for dividing the project into two phases was a matter of timing, with Phase I to be completed in 2020 and Phase II — if it gains approval — not starting until October 2020 at the earliest, eyeing a completion date by Memorial Day 2021.

The renovations included in Phase I entail providing seven fewer sleeping rooms, although those rooms could be added to Phase II should it pass muster with the ZBA.

A new entrance way is to be constructed at the front of the property, so those arriving and leaving can drive under a portico, and provide an improved access to the lobby area.

That the hotel is a nonconforming use in a residential area is something that has always existed, the ZBA said. That it falls within the Near Shore Overlay District has no impact on the application, since that district is not a zoning area unto itself, members concluded.

ZBA members said renovations wouldn’t increase dust, light or noise at the site and there should be less impact on the aquifer since the restaurant would have reduced seating and fewer bedrooms. A system to control runoff from the property must be provided, according to the approval. A nitrogen-reducing I/A septic system must be installed even if Phase II doesn’t gain eventual approval.

Given that the hotel sits on a 7-acre site, the ZBA determined there would be no overcrowding and the use is not changing from its long operating history. The renovations will have to be compliant with the town’s “dark skies” ordinance and there is to be no restriction of the summer outdoor barbecues for which the Pridwin is famous.

The ZBA was scheduled to continue its discussion of Phase II on Wednesday night this week and a story on that will appear in next week’s Reporter.