Marion Village May Have New Café

A proposed café at 146 Front Street proposed by Kate Ross, co-owner of the Dean Ross home furnishings store, was discussed at Monday’s Marion Planning Board meeting.

Ross told the board that she would like to open a café in the area behind her retail store and wanted to discuss it with the Planning Board. The location is zoned general retail, and a special permit would be needed for a restaurant.

Ross said the ‘Café in the Back’ proposed area is approximately 800 square feet and could seat up to 32 people with outside seating under an awning. Her plan is to tie in the retail store to the café. The café’s kitchen would have a stove, but she plans to limit the available food options. Potential customers would be boaters, Tabor students and local residents.

“I want to add to Marion, not take away,” said Ross, who consulted with Marion General Store owner Jack Cheney and Uncle Jon’s Coffee owner Jon Pope before moving forward with the idea.

The board discussed the issues of parking, egress and handicap accessibility and suggested that Ross meet with the building commissioner to determine legal seating capacity based on the square footage and parking and other requirements.

Next up was an appointment with Dan Crete, who is looking to purchase a piece of land on Luce Avenue, off Route 6 near the Marion Indoor Tennis Club and the Lockheed Martin facility. Proposed use would be for boat storage, a workshop and a pressure washing pad for cleaning boats. The property is an industrial zoned lot. The proposal included an environmentally-friendly reservoir off the washing pad that would capture the waste, which would be taken off site.

The board told the applicant to formulate more specific plans and come back for another hearing.

A discussion followed regarding the hiring of a part time planner for the board that has been in the works for several months. The Request for Proposal to Hire paperwork has been given to Town Administrator Paul Dawson and the effort is moving forward.

The board discussed updates to their website and agreed that there should be an archive section and that board members’ names should be on the site instead of located through a link.

Lastly, the board noted that they only had one comment regarding the recent Zoning Board of Appeals ruling on construction proposed by Christine and Mark Fantoni at 64 Allen Street. Their comment was that there be no water discharge onto neighboring lots.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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