Doug F. Trees
The development of a proposed waterfront restaurant in Beverly that has been delayed since 2006 cleared a major hurdle yesterday, when the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a ruling in the project's favor, city officials said.
On Wednesday, the DEP issued a decision denying an appeal by Frank Kinzie, who owns the nearby Beverly Port Marina, who had sought to block the building of a Black Cow restaurant on the site and build a boatyard there instead, according court documents.
"[Beverly Port Marina] did not clearly show that its competing project was feasible by providing evidence that it was consistent with the Project Agreement restricting the use of the land," DEP presiding officer Pamela Harvey said in the decision. "I recommend to the Department's Commissioner that a license be issued to the city for its proposed combination of [uses] currently intended for lease to the Black Cow."
Beverly mayor William F. Scanlon said he was pleased with the outcome and hopes the project can begin in the next few months.
"It looks now as if we've turned a corner," Scanlon said.
The city of Beverly has been looking for a way to develop the site since 1995 when it purchased the land next to the Beverly-Salem bridge, with the help of a state grant, which had previously been the location of one of the oldest McDonald's restaurants in New England, Scanlon said.
In 2006, Joseph Leone, who owns Black Cow restaurants in Newburyport and Hamilton, proposed building a Black Cow restaurant on the site, but the deal has been delayed by legal challenges from neighbors of the waterfront location, Scanlon said.
Frank Kinzie could not immediately be reached for comment.
Scanlon said Beverly currently has no waterfront restaurants, and believes the proposed Black Cow, which will be very similar in nature to the company's Newburyport location, will be a natural fit for the area.
"I think the restaurant will be very good for the city," Scanlon said. "I believe it will be quite successful."
While Kinzie still has the option to further appeal the decision, Scanlon said he believes such an appeal would have a low probability of succeeding.
Stewart Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org