We were surprised when Mr. & Mrs. Grimes, the current owners of Pickity Place, appeared before the Mason Board of Selectmen after having been sent a letter that seemed like a summons resulting from prior complaints. Those complaints can be read in the selectmen’s minutes of December 10, 2013 also posted here.
The owners were advised by the selectmen to review any decisions from the Mason Zoning Board of Adjustment and Mason Planning Board site plan reviews regarding hours of allowed operation. The selectmen thought that only operations between the hours of 10:00AM to 2:00PM had been authorized, but didn’t appear to have any specific board hearing date at which that had been determined. Unfortunately the online zoning board minutes and planning board minutes are still in their infancy, so this will necessitate a paper chase in the office. The town having just changed to a temporary administrative asssistant (more on that here) will probably not make that easier. We later contacted a long term planning board member who recalled that that Pickity Place predates site plan review. Pickity Place would be grandfathered (no pun intended) as set out by any ZBA decision that allowed a giftshop/restaurant in the first place; unless there was an expansion of activities.
Mason’s Pickity Place has been featured in many newpapers and magazines. The earliest online reference we found to it is a November 14, 1984 Christian Science Monitor Article found here.
“The charm of the story is reflected in the delightful little red house built in 1786, now bustling with pre-holiday activities – from the frosty, fragrant herb gardens, bordered by huge trees ablaze with fall colors, to the bustling kitchen, its shelves being stocked with herb jams, jellies, and other good foods for the holidays and coming winter.”
The article later goes on to say:
“The Red Riding Hood Museum, Herb Shop, and Greenhouse are open daily except Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are advised. The five-course luncheon is $8.50, and a children’s basket is available at $2.50 plus tax.”
The selectmen indicated that they will not issue a cease and desist if the Grimes have a hearing in process before either the planning or zoning board.