Restaurant, Retail Approved For Site Of Old Chauncey’s Pub

The Planning Board on Jan. 18 approved plans for a restaurant and retail store building that partly sits on the site of the old Chauncey’s Pub.

Plans for a 15,000-square-foot restaurant and retail store project on a site once occupied by an historic Franklin Park building were approved Jan. 18 by the Planning Board.

The developer, S4 Estates, has yet to secure the retail tenants, the board was told.

Part of the site, located at 3059 Route 27, was once the home of Chauncey’s Pub, which was housed in an historic building. The building, which dated back to Colonial times, was reportedly inadvertently demolished in 1999 when the wrong address was put on a demolition application by the then-owner.

The site sits between an IHOP Restaurant and a doctor’s office.

Board members looked favorably on the application, but did require that a planned vinyl fence buffering residential neighbors be swapped out for a pressure-treated wooden fence.

The restaurant will take up roughly 5,000 square feet of the new 15,000-square-foot building, James Mitchell, the applicant’s attorney, told the board. The rest of the space will be taken up by several retail stores, he said.

Because the property empties out onto a state highway, the state Department of Transportation must approve the proposed uses. Certain high-traffic-generating uses, such as fast-food restaurants or drive-through banks, are not permitted.

Parking will be to the rear of the 1-story building, and there will be one driveway servicing the site. Traffic will be able to turn left or right into the site, but will only be allowed to turn right when leaving.

That part of the plan did not sit well with some of the site’s neighbors, who said cars will use their streets to do turnarounds to go north on Rt. 27.

“It is becoming more and more of a problem, and people use it as a regular turnaround all the time,” said Pleasant Plains Road resident Holly Hardaway.

Keith Stensland, also of Pleasant Plains Road, told the board that the “right turn only won’t work.”

“At some point, someone’s got to protect the people who live on that street,” he said. “As residents, we have learned not to go out at certain times.”

Stensland said he was also concerned about water runoff from a proposed retention basin, and asked that the proposed fence along his property be changed from vinyl to wood.

Another Pleasant Plains Road resident, Claire Mulry, told the board that she doesn’t “turn left out of my street without taking my life in my hands.”

She said she wants to see the plot developed, but added that she is “very concerned about the increased traffic flow.”

“It’s very difficult when I bought a historic home in a historic district, backing up to Chauncey’s, that now there’s going to be a strip mall there,” she said. “We’ve planted 33 trees on our property to make sure we don’t see IHOP. The fact that this was accidentally taken away and Chauncey’s destroyed when it should have been preserved is frustrating to me as a homeowner.”

In addition to asking the applicant to swap out the fence material, the board asked the applicant to move some trees from one part of the property to serve as additional buffer to residences.


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