SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Select Board received recommendations on Tuesday from Police Chief John Hall and volunteers aimed at addressing road safety issues in Seawall.
A request was initiated last month by Select Board Chairman George Jellison to discuss the potential elimination of parking on Seawall Road, which is owned by the state, for safety purposes.
Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, says her business relies on the road for customer parking. However, some neighbors expressed that her customers were intruding on their property.
In an attempt to reach a compromise, an ad-hoc committee was formed to investigate the parking situation around the lobster pound and come back on March 22 with a plan.
The committee has had several meetings that, according to Hall, have been successful. Abutting property owners have been contacted by the committee and have agreed, if they so choose, to modify their property on the edge of the road to physically prevent cars from parking on their land. These property owners, Hall said, will be in touch with the town’s road foreman to make sure that any adjustments they make will not interfere with road work.
Hall said he does not foresee any ordinance changes that would be needed to address the situation.
“The solution has been addressed as far as the safety part of it, and Charlotte has come up with some very unique and phenomenal alternatives [to] make her business work with this change,” Hall said.
Gill will continue to try to keep everything contained to the restaurant’s parking lot and in the neighboring trailer park property. For the upcoming season, Gill has purchased a restaurant delivery vehicle and has added her business as a stop on the Island Explorer shuttle route. She has made renovations to her kitchen to provide customers with faster service, and the business will adjust its hours of operation and live music performance times. Mike Sawyer, who owns property farther down Seawall Road, has also offered his property as a parking alternative for the lobster pound.
“We like our neighbors, and we want to get along with everybody. We don’t want the restaurant to be a hindrance to anybody,” Gill said.
Although there is currently no timeline for these road safety adjustments before the lobster pound opens Memorial Day weekend, a code enforcement officer is scheduled to inspect them for compliance.