NEW SHARON — Selectmen will hold a special town meeting Saturday to ask voters if they want to authorize the board to give partial relief from land restrictions imposed by the town on a deed held by Janet and Alton Kennedy.
The property is on Water Street and Sandy River and where Imelda's Fabrics and Design is. A storage building was partially built before a deed restriction that doesn't allow for a building on that section of the property was brought to selectmen's attention.
The couple had a building permit from the town to construct the building.
The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Oct. 17 at the Cape Cod Hill School.
The town had some tax-acquired land and the former owners of the property, Chandra and William Caywood, wanted it for more parking, select board Chairman Maynard Webster said.
The town sold the tax-acquired lot to the Caywoods in 1992. The Caywoods sold the property to the Kennedys in 2004, he said.
The deed had restrictions on it, including no building be built and no septic system installed.
This summer, the Kennedys began construction of a storage building, Webster said. Selectmen were notified on July 1 there were deed restrictions on the lot and had the code enforcement officer notify them about restrictions, he said.
The structure continued to be built and a stop order was issued on July 15, Webster said.
The Kennedys contacted the board and wanted to know how to resolve it, he said.
The town's attorney, Frank Underkuffler, advised selectmen that only a town meeting could remove the restrictions, Webster said
The Kennedys gathered more than 100 registered voters' signatures on a petition to call for a town meeting.
Selectmen are going to ask voters to remove a building restriction, Webster said.
The restrictions were put on because it is such a narrow lot. Selectmen at the time felt there was not enough room for a building to be built between the river banking and the road, he said.
"We got a permit from the code enforcement officer to build a 20-foot by 40-foot building prior to starting," Janet Kennedy said. They even got an approval from the state, she said, since it is on the river embankment.
"We started building and two or three weeks went by and the previous owner came to me and told me about the restrictions," she said.
When they looked at the deed it did state it had restrictions but there were none listed, Kennedy said. She thought it was for a septic system. The Kennedys didn't find out until later that it had multiple restrictions on it, she said, because they were listed in another book.
"We've been jumping through hoops to get this resolved," Kennedy said. Every time they think it is resolved, they have to do something else, she said.
They want to get the building weather-proofed before winter. The first floor and second floor are studded, she said, and the material to build the roof is bought.
"It's been a nightmare for us," she said. "We have a lot of support from the community. We hope this is approved."