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Cape Vincent Planning Board approves renovation plan for old bait shop building

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CAPE VINCENT — Despite some concerns over the parking shortage on Club Street, the village Planning Board decided to allow the owners of a former bait shop, located next to the ferry dock, to move forward with renovation plans.

The board Tuesday night approved a site plan application giving the developers — James M. and Carolyn J. Rossi — permission to transform the one-story former bait shop into a three-story, mixed-use building.

Several Club Street property owners, however, wanted the project downsized or halted altogether, arguing that the development of the property would exacerbate the area’s parking shortage.

But local officials believe that the benefits of the development project outweigh potential detriments to the surrounding area.

Planning Board Chairman Jeffrey A. Herpel said there are 19 public parking spaces nearby just behind the Historical Museum on North James Street that visitors and residents may use.

Michelle T. Oswald, a village Zoning Board of Appeals member and town councilwoman, had said the village and town governments are actively seeking grant funding to alleviate the parking shortage in the area.

“Everybody’s up in arms,” Mr. Herpel said. “I think it’s a great plan.”

Additionally, the Planning Board asked that the Rossis encourage their future patrons and tenants to use the museum’s parking lot and to develop parking spaces on available land on their property.

The Rossis purchased the property two years ago for $139,000.

They plan to renovate the waterfront property this year with a $200,000 state Homes and Community Renewal grant — secured by the Cape Vincent Local Development Corp. — by building two commercial spaces on the street level, three apartments on the second floor and one owner-occupied residence on the third.

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