The City's Planning Board has recommended City Council approval of Beauport Gloucester LLC's proposed Hotel Overlay Zoning district along parts of Commercial Street — but with a few changes, including the removal of a key property that would not now be covered if the recommendation becomes reality.
Board members voted unanimously to recommend the proposal, aimed at building a hotel on Pavilion Beach, from the limited liability company headed by New Balance owner James Davis and Cruiseport Gloucester's Sheree DeLorenzo.
But the Planning Board's recommendation calls for removing the building at 33 Commercial St., owned by local developer Mac Bell, from the overlay coverage. The board is urging councilors to approve the overlay proposal for the former Birdseye property, the planned hotel site, and 33 Commercial's parking lot, but not for the entire 33 Commercial St. property, which houses the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and other offices.
"The planning board suggests the City Council reduce the size of the district to 47 Commercial Street and a portion (the parking lot) of 33 depicted on plan modifications," said Planning Director Gregg Cadematori.
Beauport Gloucester's attorney, John Cunningham had said the company included the site in the overlay for overflow parking. Cadematori said that, if the company were to use the site for overflow parking, it would have to be zoned similarly.
The company also raised the minimum square footage from 40,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet; the new version has also dropped the height allowance from 75 to 40 feet — not including the landmark, 75-foot Birdseye tower, which, according to an early sketch of the project, the developers are hoping to retain or restore.
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