ROCKPORT – Board Vice Chair John Viehman expressed concerns about a proposal to establish a take-out restaurant and three food trucks at 330 Commercial St., arguing that it was the “entryway to our town.”

Viehman said he saw “anything and everything” going on at the former car dealership property, ranging from the Salon Suites business to sale of items including Adirondack chairs and a canoe. “I don’t feel a plan,” he said.

Stephanie Turner of Salon Suites attended the Planning Board meeting June 24 along with Jim Turner and their partner Mary Kate Moriarty for a pre-application. They are seeking to start a take-out food business in a 20-by-20 building on the property and add three food trucks and five vendors to create an outdoor food court.

Turner said the building was the former Point Lookout gazebo, which had been moved to the site.

The former Point Lookout gazebo is being turned into a takeout restaurant in Rockport. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

She also said the food would be all “plant based” with a Southwest meets Southeast Asia feel. Moriarty said she grew up in Cambodia and wants to bring that cuisine to the business.

The property is owned by Douglas Clayton.

Members of the Planning Board questioned whether the businesspeople should have come to the board previously for approval of other businesses currently operating on the former car dealership property. Turner said they had gained approval through the code office.

Board members also questioned whether the food trucks would generate a lot of traffic and how they might meet the sign ordinance with multiple eateries on the property. It was noted that food trucks themselves can serve as moving billboards.

Turner said she would not have food trucks that had signs on them or that string lights.

“The last thing we want is this area to look like a carnival,” she said.

She also said the food truck concept was secondary to the take-out business from the building. However, the planning board members sought to have the details of the plan nailed down rather than vague.

“We can’t be voting on maybes,” one member said.

The goal is to have the business up and running by August or September and operate five or six days per week from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The project would have to come before the board again for approval, this being just an initial discussion in the process.

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