Zoning Overturns Initial Hennessey Decision


You may remember last year when there was a brouhaha on Rick Hennessey opening his repair shop on Bay Avenue.

Following Superstorm Sandy in 2012 the Swantons who have owned 75 Bay Avenue since 2003 had their son-in-law, Rick Hennessey, who had operated Sea Bright Service Center, and lost his location due to the storm, operate his auto repair and towing business next to their HVAC shop.

When the Swanton’s initially purchased the property, one side of the building was used for lobster/seafood sales, and the other side had been used for auto repairs. Shortly after taking title the owners evicted the lobster/seafood use and proceeded to leased to their nephew -in-law, Ted Schred, who had used as a candle warehouse.

Thinking that, the property had historically been used for the same or similar auto repair uses there would be no problem in Hennessey doing the same type of business again. Also, the building is located in an area which has flooded in the past, it would not be conducive to have a concrete floor for something other than automotive repairs, since it could be subject to flooding and who would use it for any type of retail or office use.

The Zoning Board ultimately found that there was neither an intent to abandon the automotive repair shop use nor any overt act done which would imply an intent to abandon the automotive repair shop use.

The Board initially scheduled a hearing in this case for April 14, 2013, which the hearing date was subsequently adjourned on five occasions, and ultimately heard on February 6, 2014.

Better late than never…