"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Planning Board Approves Site Plan for New Commercial Development to Demolish Berry Pond Motel and the Country Fare Inn

A robust discussion of the pros and cons about this property at the intersection of Old 109 and Route 25, but in the end, it was inevitable: there just wasn't any economic sense to the new owners to save the historic former Country Fare Inn. No way to re-purpose or rebuild the property was reasonable, as the building would need to be stripped to the post and beam bones and then rebuilt at a cost per the new owner of more then a million dollars. Instead, the area will become green space and about  nine parking spaces for the businesses that will occupy the development.
The anchor business will be a relocated Cup and Crumb which will occupy the barn like structure being proposed with the hope that this successful business will attract additional commercial tenants.

Its sad to see an old historic building go, but change is a given. The property was sold and the new owners have a right to develop the property for profit. It was also  a test for the new VCOD ( Village Center Overlay District) and I agree with Planning Board member Norman Larson that it failed it's test. The VCOD was proposed by the Planning Board to encourage developers to do the things a village does well,  to move away from car-centric developments.  He added that the applicants are essentially requesting a waiver of all the VCOD standards. He felt that with this approval, we will no longer have VCOD standards.

In the end, the site plan was approved, the old Country Fare Inn will be demolished for an open space on the corner of Old 109 and route 25 and the project will have 9 more parking spaces and green space. Inevitable, but sad to see a landmark like that gone forever.
Resident David Oliver spoke of the historic significance of the village and thought that the design of buildings with small cupolas  and large parking lots will do little to restore the historical integrity of a building that stood on that corner lot for 174 years,

I am certain the project will be a success for the developers and will be a welcome economic addition to the town, but it does little to enhance the concept of a village and is really no different than the many similar strip type malls up and down major thoroughfares. That area was specifically included in the VCOD whose purpose per the ordinance is ".. to encourage the development of the Moultonborough Village Center in a manner consistent with its historic pattern, including the size and spacing of structures and open spaces."  Whether it does that or not remains to be seen.


1 comment:

Frank Davis said...

I hate to the house go, it's was my Grandmother Bessie Lovering's home!