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Stonington marina owner clears site

Stonington — Over the past several months, the owner of the Coveside Marina on Route 1 has cleared many of the trees and brush on the property, allowing passersby to see the site and its buildings for the first time in decades.

The clearing, which now offers views of Wequetequock Cove, has prompted questions about the future of the 830 Stonington Road property.

On Wednesday, Thomas Lockwood of Clinton — the principal in Lockwood LLC, which owns the property — said he plans no changes.

“I want it to stay the way it’s always been in its heyday,” he said, declining to answer any further questions.

Lockwood, who bought the property in 2017, has not submitted any application for development on the property.

Lockwood Marinas also owns Cove’s Edge Marina in Westerly, Mystic Point Marina in Mystic, Palmer’s Cove Marina in Groton and Old Harbor Marina in Clinton.

Lockwood, meanwhile, is appealing a cease and desist order from the town for renovating a residential building on the site without permits. The Zoning Board of Appeals has slated a Dec. 8 public virtual hearing on the matter. 

The property contains a mix of cottages, buildings with multiple residential units and outbuildings.

According to the cease and desist order, the town first issued Lockwood a notice of violation in July for renovating a residential building without the required permits. In September, he and town officials inspected the property and the town told him he could not occupy the building until he acquired the permits. The amount of money spent on the unpermitted work was calculated to determine if it triggered other requirements.

On Oct. 8, the town building official inspected the property after receiving a complaint from a neighbor and the person inside said he and his party had booked the building for the weekend.

The town has now ordered Lockwood to vacate the premises until he acquires the permits.

Lockwood argued in his Oct. 28 appeal that the cease and desist order is an attempt by the town to shield itself from liability for failing to timely address its own concerns regarding the lack of permits for the building. Since the September inspection, he said, the town has failed to provide him with any information about what permits will be required or if cost estimates of the work he’s done over the past three years will trigger more costly flood hazard improvements.

He said the delay creates a daily negative monetary impact for him and impedes his ability to develop the property.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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