Over the objections of some neighbors, Atlantic Pool, an Edgartown-based pool construction and service business, will be allowed to continue operating out of owner Tekomah Goggins’ home on Watcha Path, after the Edgartown Zoning Board of Appeals approved a special permit for the business Wednesday. .
Atlantic Pool first came before the zoning board in February, after building inspector Reade Milne found the business needed a special permit for a small-scale business in a residential district under Edgartown’s zoning laws.
Neighbor Mr. Goggins, represented by Attorney Dylan Sanders, spoke out against the business on Wednesday, arguing as much as he did in February that van traffic stemming from the Atlantic pool has damaged Watcha Path, a narrow dirt road.
“He has become a huge commercial business,” Daniel Stiles said.
Jonathan Spalter, another abutter, said the operation of Mr. Goggins on Watcha Path is damaging to the character of the neighborhood.
“It’s a shame that we have to have this conversation, but this is not a milkshake,” he said.
Mr. Goggins was granted a permit by former building inspector Lenny Jason in 2018, allowing him to operate his business by right under the Edgartown Bylaws that allow merchants to operate out of their homes in residentially-zoned areas. Mr. Goggins’ lawyer Robert Moriarty said Mr. Goggins was transparent from the time he bought his property on Watcha Path that he intended to operate his business out of his place. Mr. Goggins was present at the meeting, but did not comment.
“He’s been transparent, completely above board,” Mr. Moriarty. “He’s not trying to hide the ball from the city.”
Milne said that of the three business owners operating in the Watcha Path neighborhood, Mr. Goggins was the only one who followed city protocol and applied for a special permit when asked. He said the city has filed a cease and desist order against Carlos Teles of Teles Landscaping and Christopher Miller of Miller Professionals for their extensive operations in the neighborhood.
“I think it’s important to take that into consideration,” said Ms Milne.
Mr. Moriarty said that Mr. Goggins will agree to limit his operation to six rounds of trips per day from the property on Watcha route and two large-scale deliveries per month and agreed to pay one third of the cost of maintaining the dirt road.
“We don’t guarantee six trips,” said Mr. Moriarty. “We limit a maximum of six trips.”
Zoning board members cited Mr. Goggins’ previous permission from the former building inspector in their discussion before approving the special permit. Members also noted that the continued operation of Mr. Goggins has no impact on further decisions about other businesses.
“There’s a lot going that way,” said member Thomas Pierce. “Tekomah gets a lot of eyes because of other things that are on that road.”
However, he added that he respects the concerns of Mr. Goggins.
“[Father. Goggins] is willing to work with us, and I understand the neighbor’s point, but I don’t know how we can say that he can’t run his business,” Pierce said.
The board finally approved a special permit for the Atlantic Pool, limiting the operation to six trips per day and two deliveries per month, along with the promise to pay for road maintenance. The board will review Mr. Goggins’ business in the fall of 2023, after the dust settles and shuts down other businesses in the neighborhood.
“This seems like a reasonable compromise to me,” said board member Robin Bray.