Demolition And Reconstruction To Start At Wychmere Beach Club

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Development

Changes to the Wychmere Beach Club should be getting underway this week. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH — In the past two weeks, the conservation commission and board of appeals have approved modifications to the Wychmere Beach Club redevelopment project. With one more approval needed — from the planning board — groundwork at the complex is scheduled to get underway this week.

Wychmere Harbor Real Estate will go before the planning board on Thursday, Sept. 10 seeking an amended site plan review special permit to make alterations to a previously approved design. There are minor changes in the plan to the north and south ends of the replacement restaurant building, a reduction in the size of the gatehouse building and landscape revisions.

The private club previously received approval to replace the existing restaurant/pool equipment building, two swimming pools, the pool decking and other site improvements, including a new restaurant building, a small restroom and retail building, a pavilion expansion, two smaller swimming pools and a new concrete pool deck and various beach amenities.

Last Wednesday, attorney Andrew Singer outlined minor changes to the previously approved plans for conservation commission member. The changes included pulling the west side of the south end of the restaurant back about eight feet from the Merkel Beach conservation property, and the south end, facing Nantucket Sound, back about four feet. The north side of the gatehouse would have a minor reduction in size, and there would be landscape changes in that area as well.

The proposal calls for a slight addition on the southeast side, squaring off the beach-side section of the building to create a continuous facade. The new building will be placed on pilings. There are minor reductions in the previous changes to the pool, and the coastal bar will be shifted to the east.

“We think this a benefit to the site,” Singer told the conservation commission.

“How many more amendments are we going to see?” conservation commission member Stanley Pastuszak asked.

“I can’t give you an answer with a project this big, but they want to get started in the next couple of weeks, Singer replied.

The commission approved the alterations but made it clear that the property owners will be held to the previously approved condition that no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers can be used on the site.

At the appeals board, Singer said that the proposed octagon addition would be getting taller, citing an increase of four-and-a-half feet. He said that it remains conforming, is an architectural change for better use and design of the building, and would not impact the seating capacity.

He noted that there was no provision prohibiting work from starting before Labor Day. Work around the pools will begin before that time, he said.

“The club is not open now, so there will be no overlap of construction parking and club members,” Singer said. The owners, he said, want to get going on the project as soon as possible to be sure it is completed in time for the next summer season.

However, appeals board Chairman David Ryer expressed concern for big construction vehicles moving up and down narrow Snow Inn Road. The vehicles should be allowed to remain parked on the site, he said. He pointed out that the board earlier that evening approved the demolition and reconstruction of a home at 49 Snow Inn Rd., located on the edge of the road and on the harbor. The two projects taking place at the same time with large vehicles moving about might make it hard to keep peace in the neighborhood, he said.

Michael Sharlet, manager of the Wychmere Beach Club, said that the vehicles could be left on site at night.

Ryer said that the board in its initial approval declared the project would not be more detrimental to the neighborhood, and the board voted unanimously to approve the project modifications.