Scott Mason and his wife Kathy want to open Old School Ice Cream to complement their farm stand at 770 Main Street. They plan to transform an old, gray, Cape Cod-style house into a red schoolhouse, replete with white trim, a bell and a flagpole.
The take-out ice cream place would have a serving window and patrons would eat their sundaes and cones on picnic tables outside.
"I think it might add a little something to Monroe and the farm stand gives it a country feel," said Scott Mason, owner of Mason's Farm Market, 770 Main Street.
The couple obtained a wetlands permit from the Inland Wetlands Commission on Wednesday night. Now they need a site plan approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission.
"There is no significant impact to the inland wetlands and watercourses," Jeremy Hayden, an Inland Wetlands commissioner, said during a deliberation session.
The commission approved it unanimously with conditions. The main condition is that a railing either be extended or a gate be built to prevent vehicles from driving to the back of the property. Mason had no problem with the condition, so long as that part of his property is not completely closed off.
Bill Carbone of Spath Bjorklund Associates, the engineering firm hired by the Masons, said there will actually be less impact on the wetlands behind the property. Two greenhouses would be removed to make way for gravel parking and an existing paved area would be torn up and replaced with grass — reducing the impermeable coverage.
All together there would be 40 parking spaces. In another part of the plan a new septic system would be located further from the wetlands than the existing one.
The Masons will need Department of Transportation approval to add a signal to an existing traffic light on Main Street so vehicles using their driveway have an easier time leaving the property.
If all of the approvals are obtained, the business would be open during the warm weather months. Freshly, and locally, grown ingredients such as blueberries, strawberries and peaches would be mixed into the sweet, creamy, homemade ice cream, according to Scott Mason.