NEWBURY — The Select Board unanimously supported a special permit for a bed-and-breakfast at 243 Newburyport Turnpike in a straw vote Tuesday.
The board took the unofficial vote so the owners, Randall Lynch and Michael Dalterio, could move forward with their plans while town counsel drafts the paperwork with any conditions before an official vote is taken. Each board member expressed support for the project.
The board does not have another regular meeting until late May due to Town Meeting on April 27 and the town election on May 11.
The property was purchased by Lynch and Dalterio in December with the intention of turning the main house, built in 1912, into a bed-and-breakfast. It sits on 7.5 acres with views of the Great Marsh and Parker River.
The house has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, and the owners plan to live on the third floor. In adherence with the town’s bed-and-breakfast requirements, Lynch and Dalterio do not plan to use more than four bedrooms.
There would be three spaces for overnight guests, including a two-room suite with an adjoining bathroom.
There are no plans to alter the exterior or landscaping, other than to restore the property to its original state. The property has plenty of parking and only one neighbor, who has already voiced support for the project.
“It’s a beautiful piece of property and I really wish you guys the best,” Select Board member Mike Doyle told the owners. They have not settled on a name yet, but are leaning toward “Highland House” since the house sits atop a knoll.
Anne M. Paul, who built the home, owned 50 acres on Cedar Hill and used the first women-owned architectural firm in Boston — Howe, Manning and Almy Inc. — for the project. The blueprints and renderings for the property are in the special archives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Also during the meeting, Town Administrator Tracy Blais said the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs recently committed to fund 75% of the nonfederal match for the dredging of the Merrimack River, which is set to take place this fall.
“Needless to say, we’re very grateful to Sen. (Bruce) Tarr, the efforts of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance and certainly, the administration for partnering with us on this project,” she said.
The town will likely pay $200,000 for the project, rather than the originally estimated $700,000 to place about 175,000 cubic yards of sand along the Plum Island shore, Blais explained.
The board unanimously voted to appropriate $200,000 for the project from the special assessment fund.
Blais also said the furnace at the Byfield Grange is no longer working. The board decided not to do anything further until the town receives more estimates. The town has already received a quote of $6,650.