By: Elizabeth Dinan, Seacoastonline.com
PORTSMOUTH -- A long legal fight, about whether the Gas Light Co. restaurant must enclose its outdoor deck, has ended with an agreement to install an enclosure over the deck, that opens and closes when the deck does.The dispute began in March 2016, when the city’s health department informed the Gas Light that, for the first time in 26 years, its outdoor bar would have to be enclosed to get a health permit to open for the 2017 season. The dispute also included debate about where rodents can and cannot be found in the city.
In response, the Gas Light filed a Superior Court lawsuit, while the outdoor bar remained uncovered. In August, the Gas Light’s lawyer Jon Flagg and City Attorney Robert Sullivan reached a settlement agreement that said resident and former Manchester health officer Richard DiPentima would serve as an impartial health inspector and whatever he decided should occur, would be accepted by the city and Gas Light owner Paul Sorli.
Assistant City Attorney Jane Ferrini said this week that DiPentima remains working with the Gas Light, they’d come to an agreement to enclose the deck and final plans for the enclosure will be reviewed “in late winter.” Ferrini said the goal is to have final inspection and approval in April, which is when the deck historically opens for the season.
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