Stonington Historical Society preps 4th application for project at lighthouse

Stonington Historical Society preps 4th application for project at lighthouse

Record-Journal
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The Stonington Historical Society has proposed a new plan to bring the Old Lighthouse Museum into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sun file photo

STONINGTON — The Stonington Historical Society will try for a fourth time to gain approval of expanding the Old Lighthouse Museum to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In December, the Borough Planning and Zoning Commission approved an amendment that would allow a special use permit for nonconforming uses, such as the museum, that serve the public. Without the amendment, the commission had said it could not legally approve expansion plans for any nonconforming use seeking to become ADA-compliant.

The society’s executive director, Elizabeth Wood, said that the proposal going before commissioners during a public hearing on March 14 is identical to the third application the group submitted last spring.

“I am optimistic that we have addressed any and all concerns of our community and I’m am excited to move forward,” she said.

The proposed 495-square-foot addition would include a handicapped-accessible bathroom, gift shop and ticketing area. Also included in the proposal is rehabilitation work to replace portions of the building that are damaged or showing signs of rot and water infiltration. The final portion of the project includes an upgrade to improve the climate control system.

The original expansion proposal in 2013 was nearly double the size of the current proposal and included an addition to the back of the museum. A second design was proposed in 2015, and although it was only 550 square feet, it took a great deal of flak from residents.

Both proposals, which were fairly modern and involved a glass pavilion, were opposed by people who said they didn’t fit the historical character of the village.

bwhite@thewesterlysun.com


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