The town gave the owners of the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport a green light Thursday to build eight guest bedrooms in a barn that sits behind the historic Inn on South Jamesport Avenue.
The planning board’s site plan approval will allow the Inn’s owners, who have said the Inn will structure financially without additional sources of revenue, to make money by renting out the additional bedrooms.
The approval also allows them to add 20 more seats to the existing Luce & Hawkins Restaurant on the site, because it is considered a country inn, and the number of seats a Country Inn can have is predicated on the number of rooms it has, under the town’s code.
Earlier this year, the Inn’s owners received approval to contract an open-air breezeway connecting the restaurant to the barn. Under the town code as presently written, this allows the two buildings to be considered one, and also made the new, “one building” big enough to add the additional rooms.
But the breezeway ruling met with concern and some controversy and Town Board members are now considering changing the way a breezeway is defined.
The main Inn building that houses the restaurant and six guest rooms was built in 1863.
Pam Hunt, who has represented the Jedediah Hawkins Inn’s owners before the Planning Board, said after the decision Tuesday that they still need county health department approval and pine barrens credits before the owners can get a building permit.
The town approvals give the Inn owners three years to build the rooms.