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Vote on Chocolate Shell in Old Lyme postponed

By Kimberly Drelich

Publication: theday.com

Published March 19. 2014 12:00PM   Updated March 19. 2014 12:20PM

Old Lyme — A Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on a cease and desist order against the Chocolate Shell, a Lyme Street sweet shop, lasted three hours Tuesday evening and drew residents who spoke both in favor and against the order.

The appeals board postponed a vote and is expected to deliberate on the case next Tuesday.

Barbara Crowley, the owner of the chocolate shop on 18 Lyme Street, is appealing the town’s order stating she was operating a restaurant, as well as a take-out restaurant, without permits. She had also installed a sign, a “Cafe Open” flag, without permits, the Jan. 17 order stated.

Crowley has said she viewed the addition of coffee, pre-baked pastries and additional seating was an extension of her product line.

The issue had sparked discussion both about the Chocolate Shell and, more generally, about Lyme Street, a historic district and residential zone with grandfathered-in businesses. About 50 residents attended the meeting in which lawyers for zoning enforcement, the Chocolate Shell and residents neighboring the businesses presented their arguments.

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