The basement conference room was filled Wednesday night with residents eager to hear more about Gosnold on Cape Cod’s plans to open a residential substance abuse recovery facility on Old Plymouth Road in North Sagamore.
Gosnold, a treatment center for people dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues, was scheduled that night to discuss its plans with Zoning Board of Appeals, in the hopes of receiving a special permit for changing the use of the property.
The hearing however was postponed until next month.
The board’s vice chairman John E. O’Brien, who chaired the meeting in the absence of chairman Lee A. Berger, announced that the board had received a letter from attorney August F. Wagner Jr. of Hyannis, who was representing Joseph S. and Maria J. Desrosiers. In his letter, Mr. Wagner described the couple, who live at 63 Old Plymouth Road, as abutters to the property in question. He said that the Desrosierses were not given proper notice, and thus were unable to properly prepare for the hearing.
Town engineering technician Dody Adkins-Perry said that Gosnold has not filed any details with the town planning department about their plans for the property.
The Enterprise reached out to Gosnold for comment on their plans but did not hear back from them before yesterday’s deadline. Andrew O’Dell, executive assistant to Gosnold’s chief operating officer, Raymond V. Tamasi, said that Mr. Tamasi was in meetings all day. Mr. O’Dell said that Mr. Tamasi would try to call in between sessions, however no contact was made.
Responding to the Desrosierses’ request to postponed Wednesday’s hearing, town building inspector Roger M. Laporte told the board that state law stipulates that all abutters within 300 feet of the property on the same side of the street, and any abutter directly across the street are to receive notification of the hearing. Mr. Laporte said that according to a map drawn up by town engineer Michael D. Leitzel, the Desrosierses live diagonally across the street from the property. Since they do not live “directly across” they do not qualify as abutters under the state statute.
The attorney for Gosnold on Cape Cod, J. Ford O’Connor, argued that the Desrosierses and Mr. Wagner have known about the hearing for at least eight days, and based on the work done by both Mr. Laporte and Mr. Leitzel, it had been determined that the couple did not qualify as abutters. In spite of that, Mr. O’Connor said that he was agreeable to a continuance.
“I don’t want to get into an argument about whether the notice was correct or not correct and people then use it as grounds for an appeal at a later date,” he said.
Mr. O’Connor suggested that the board reschedule the hearing for its next scheduled meeting on April 16. He said that would give them another 14 days to prepare, in addition to the eight days they have already had.
“That’s more than adequate time. I don’t see any reason to drag it out,” he said.
It was determined that the agenda for that night was already full. Instead, the hearing was rescheduled for the zoning board meeting on Wednesday, May 7, at 7:15 PM.