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September 13, 2013

Tool Co. developer challenges Roma house plans

ROCKPORT — The developer seeking to revitalize the former Cape Ann Tool Company site has filed a formal appeal aimed at scaling back another high-profile project — Ron Roma’s bid to build a 10,820-square foot single-family home at 129 Granite St.

Michael Rauseo, owner of the Yankee Clipper Inn, and Michael Barnhard, the inn’s manager, say that the Planning Board erred by not following specifics and enforcing the town’s site plan review process, specifically the section that states the board must “minimize departure from the character and scale of buildings in the vicinity as viewed from public and price ways and place, and abutting property,” according to the appeal.

Rauseo is also the developer of the former Cape Ann Tool Co. property, and has had issues of his own dealing with town officials over dockage on the water side of the property and opponents who wanted the town to acquire the site.

In April, multiple residents and abutters on Granite and Pigeon Hill Streets signed a petition asking the Planning Board to use a material other than brick and otherwise modify the Roma house “so that the structure appears to be connected multiple residences with separate roof lines.” Roma has appealed that finding as well.

But Rauseo and Barnhard, whose Yankee Clipper Inn at 127 Granite St. sits next door to the Roma property, are challenging the board’s handling of the Roma project but not objecting to the house itself. “I do object, however, if this structure dwarfs all other structures in this neighborhood and uses exterior finishes that do not fit in with its surroundings,” Rauseo’s letter reads.

In the appeal, Rauseo and Barnhard refer to the Planning Board findings that indicate how the proposed house is a “significant departure” from the character of the neighborhood, with uncharacteristic siding and other out-of-sync architectural elements.

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