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By Linda Boker-Angelo

Gloucester City News

  During a brief meeting last week, members of the Gloucester City Planning Board voted to approve the final site plans for a second-story addition to a former gas station located at Broadway and Middlesex Street.

  A sidewalk issue last month needed to be addressed before final approval of the application could be granted.

  Robert Booth and Susan Hathcock, co-owners of Gloucester Travel & Cruise currently located across the street at 114 N. Broadway, agreed to purchase the rundown property from the City.

  The travel company was represented by local attorney William Dilks.

  Booth testified last month that plans include adding a second floor apartment to the long-vacant building.

  Gloucester Travel intends to move into one side of the first-floor retail space and Booth will move into the proposed two-bedroom, second-floor apartment.

  The additional retail unit on the ground floor will hopefully be leased to an-other commercial tenant.

  Board Engineer Mike Brown of Consulting Engineer Services had reported last month that the slope of the property’s existing sidewalk/driveway on Middlesex Street may exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

  Brown explained that if the sidewalk/apron incline is too great, it could be dangerous to someone in a wheelchair or other assisted-movement vehicle, like a motorized scooter.

  Brown suggested replacing the existing driveway, which was in place prior to ADA passage in 1990, with an ADA-compliant sidewalk and driveway. 

  Booth testified that Gloucester Travel & Cruise would replace the sidewalk on the Middlesex Street side of the property when the City completes its Phase 3 Broadway Streetscape upgrade, which will include the front of 115 N. Broadway.

  Gloucester Travel’s engineer stated he will add additional parking lot elevation measurements to the site plan to demonstrate drainage compliance.

  City Councilman Nicholas Marchese said he was thrilled with the plans, which will renovate a property that has sat empty for many years and create a ratable for the City.

  The Planning Board’s next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, in City Hall, 313 Monmouth St.


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