Gables Inn application rejected

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 6:00pm
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Final approval of the application for renovating the Gables Inn will have to wait. That’s because the chair of the Historic District Commission rejected the application for the project on Monday night.

Bill Penn, Chair of the HDC, opened the meeting lambasting the applicant, who was not in attendance, for submitting an incomplete application to the commission.

Lark Hotels, which purchased the Surf Hotel and the Gables Inn, is in the midst of an ambitious effort to refurbish both properties.

Final approval of the application called for renovations to the Gables Inn, and new construction, including installation of an in-ground pool and patio area, landscaping with fencing, paving, construction of employee housing, and relocation of a barn on the property.

“The application is being rejected. It’s an incomplete application,” said Penn. “They keep sending piecemeal stuff to us. So we will not be hearing this application until they submit a complete application with every bit of information that we need. This is totally unacceptable for these people to think that we are at their beck and call.”

Vice Chair Martha Ball called for the commission to be “more careful” with all of the applications submitted to the HDC. Ball said the commission has received other applications that have also been incomplete.

Penn said the issue with the Gables Inn application is that the applicant has been providing information beyond the 14 day deadline. “Applications are due 14 days prior to the public hearing,” he said. The commission’s forms note: All Applications must be submitted with the required copies, signatures and enclosures at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the regularly scheduled Historic District Commission meeting.

Penn told The Block Island Times after the meeting that what was missing from the Gables Inn application “is a detailed list of construction materials such as windows, doors, etc. The same information that is needed to apply for a building permit.”

Rob Blood, the CEO of Lark Hotels, said, “We heard from the HDC on Friday that our application was not complete and our project would be reviewed on July 22. We’re looking forward to submitting a complete application to hopefully receive a positive response.”

OIP gets signage

The HDC voted unanimously (6-0) to approve four signs for the Old Island Pub, located on Ocean Avenue, and owned by the Gaffett family.

The Old Island Pub sign will be eight square feet in size with a white font on a red background, and mounted to the building’s front façade.

A three-foot by three-and-a-half foot OIP sign, attached to a nine-foot tall post will hang near Ocean Avenue. The establishment will have a two-and-a-half square foot menu board and a six square foot A-frame chalkboard sign.          

Paige Gaffett, whose family has gone through a lengthy approval and construction process, fraught with delays, said, “We’re just applying for signage for when we might open one day,” she said.

Gaffett told The Times that exterior work remains to be completed before the restaurant can open.

The Old Island Pub, which occupied the building Tigerfish now occupies on Corn Neck Road, closed two years ago to relocate to Ocean Avenue.

Dodge application

The HDC unanimously approved the application by the Willis Dodge Trust for work on Charlie Dodge’s home off High Street, which was originally built in 1928, and altered with an addition in 1979.

The application was for the extension of an existing deck and addition of arbor/lattice, relocating an outdoor shower to the deck, and installation of a brick patio.

The next HDC meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 22 at 7 p.m.