Jedediah Hawkins Inn went back before the Zoning Board of Appeals late last month to seek another one-year temporary variance allowing them to cater outdoors — something Hawkins representative Pam Hunt says they’ve been doing since 2008.
The code allows indoor catering, but the variance permits outdoor events, which the inn has held on a seasonal basis.
Ms. Hunt said the inn hosted two events under tents last year and has had only one noise complaint in the past four years. She said the restaurant cannot survive without outdoor events.
The historic building — which cost $2 million to restore — only has 55 seats indoors, Ms. Hunt said. Overall, she said, the inn hasn’t had more than 20 outdoor events per year.
Several residents who spoke at the hearing said the town has given the inn enough variances and zoning code changes.
“You’re being asked to act as a social service agency,” said South Jamesport resident Angela DeVito, who is also president of the Jamesport/South Jamesport Civic Association. She said that while the inn’s owners have consistently claimed poverty in hearings before the ZBA, they’ve never been made to show financial information or a business plan to prove it.
The public hearing will be continued at the ZBA’s meeting tonight at 7 p.m.