Addition approved to Monadnock Inn for innkeepers’ quarters

An addition for larger innkeepers’ quarters has been approved for the Monadnock Inn.

An addition for larger innkeepers’ quarters has been approved for the Monadnock Inn. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

An addition for larger innkeepers' quarters has been approved for the Monadnock Inn.

An addition for larger innkeepers' quarters has been approved for the Monadnock Inn. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 06-13-2024 1:02 PM

The new owners of the Monadnock Inn in Jaffrey have been approved to put an addition on the south side of the building for new innkeepers' quarters.

Gene and Castine Clerkin recently entered into a purchase agreement with No Box Realty and owner Randy Beers to purchase the inn. The town’s land use code requires that the inn be “occupied by an owner or resident manager,” but the existing innkeepers' quarters are not large enough for the Clerkin family.

In January, the Clerkins applied for and received a variance from the Zoning Board for an expansion of a non-conforming use to build larger innkeepers' quarters off the back of the inn, including a two-story addition with a two-car garage on the first level and living space above. There would also be a vestibule between the existing structure and the new addition. The existing innkeeper’s quarters will be part of the renovation and incorporated into the new living space.

In their variance application, the Clerkins indicated their intent to improve the operation and appearance of the inn as part of their new ownership.

“As everyone is aware, the inn has fallen into disrepair over the last few years. As new owners, we will renovate the inkeepers’ quarters and put on the addition to allow adequate living space for our family. We will also immediately fix the facade of the inn, thereby improving the value of the surrounding properties,” the Clerkins wrote in their application.

Castine Clerkin, during Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting, indicated the inn will accept guests during the renovation, but there is no estimated timeline yet to reopen the inn’s restaurant, Thorndike’s, which closed during the pandemic and never reopened.

During the public hearing, few questions were asked by the board or the public. Select Board representative Franklin Sterling questioned what the lighting plan for the building was, and Castine Clerkin said there would be additional lighting on the building, but nothing planned at this time for the parking lot. Sterling noted that any lighting added should be downcast.

“We don’t want it going up in the air, and we don’t want it shining on existing properties; you do have properties on either side,” Sterling said.

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Neighbor Cadigan Gregory said lighting was also her main concern, and asked whether the business was subject to the town’s residential noise ordinance, which she was assured it is.

While no other abutters or members of the public spoke at the Planning Board meeting, during the previous Zoning Board hearing in January, multiple residents expressed hope that the inn be revitalized and successful again, noting its more-than-100-year history and location in the town’s Historic District.

Planning Board member Keith Dupuis clarified that there would be no demolition of the existing building, which Castine Clerkin confirmed.

The board unanimously approved the addition, with several conditions, including that any new lighting be downward-facing, that the business adhere to Jaffrey’s noise ordinance and that it follow directives from the  Jaffrey Fire Department regarding fire suppression and alarm measures. 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.