In a 15-minute would-be town council meeting made unofficial by the lack of a quorum Monday night (Nov. 11), Washington Mayor John Sullivan elected instead to hold an “informal conversation” on the special-use permit the council would’ve officially considered.
Due to last-minute scheduling conflicts, Sullivan said, council members Daniel Spethmann, Patrick O’Connell, Jerry Goebel and vice-mayor Gary Schwartz were unable to attend the meeting.
Sullivan and fellow council members Alice Butler and Mary Ann Kuhn decided to have an unofficial work session instead and discussed “formerly distinguished town council member” Jean Goodine’s proposal to open the upper level of her existing Main Street shop for retail use.
The building housed Goodine’s Designs in Gold and Silver, which closed its doors in August after almost 30 years of selling the work of Goodine’s late husband, Christopher. In the ground-floor space since leased by Little Washington Winery proprietors Carl and Donna Henrickson, the new shop, Wine Loves Chocolate Boutique, officially opened Monday morning.
“The space [upstairs] was always intended for retail,” Goodine told the council. It originally served as her husband’s studio space, “a place to get away from people and work on his custom work,” Goodine said.
The boutique, Goodine said, expressed interest in renting the upstairs area, hence her request for a special-use permit. “I would prefer to have the SUP open [and not tied to the boutique] . . . I don’t know how long [the boutique] intends to be there.”
Goodine added that the area behind the shop is currently available to house seven additional parking spaces — but the discussion, being unofficial, did not go much further.
“Has [your dog] Max approved this?” asked Sullivan.
“Oh yes, he’s very excited,” replied Goodine.
Town clerk Laura Dodd said Tuesday that she hasn’t received word of any opposition to the permit. The official hearing is next Monday (Nov. 18) at a “special council meeting,” where a final decision on the Goodine special-use permit is expected.