Resident, Inn Reach Settlement

BERLIN – A dispute regarding special events at a Berlin bed and breakfast has been settled.

The administrative appeal filed by Berlin resident Joe Hill regarding a town board’s decision to allow tented events at The Inn Berlin was settled this week a day before the court hearing was set to take place. The agreement reached will allow the inn to host eight tented events a year rather than the 20 permitted by the Berlin Board of Zoning Appeals.

“We came to an agreement because this sort of thing can go on forever,” Hill said.

A statement from the Tomasallo family, proprietors of the inn, stresses the facility’s commitment to being a positive part of the town.

“Our hope is that they now realize we are making this town more beautiful and a destination for people to come and enjoy all Berlin has to offer,” the statement said. “From our extremely successful first season, with zero complaints from any surrounding neighbors, we continue to look towards an amicable future.”

In 2020, Pino and Karen Tomasello, who formerly operated Fresco’s and Sello’s restaurants, bought the former Waystead Inn property. Their son and daughter-in-law opened it as The Inn Berlin last year.

The Berlin Board of Zoning Appeals approved The Inn Berlin’s request to host outdoor tented events in April. While the Harrison Avenue property already had a conditional use approval to have up to 30 people dine at the inn, the new approval let the inn host up to 20 outdoor events a year for up to 60 people.

Hill, whose home is adjacent to the bed and breakfast, was one of several residents who expressed concerns with the inn’s plans during the board’s April hearing. He was worried about the potential for noise and the impact of a commercial use in a residential neighborhood. He filed an administrative appeal in Worcester County Circuit Court seeking judicial review of the board’s decision.

With a hearing set for Tuesday, Hill and the connections of The Inn Berlin reached a settlement agreement Monday. It states that the inn will be limited to a maximum of eight tented events per year and that the Hills will be notified at least two weeks prior to any tented events. All other terms of the board’s approval shall remain the same and additional tented events would require board approval.

Hill said he still disagreed with the way the town had handled the situation but acknowledged that the settlement represented a compromise.

“I have to live next to these people,” Hill said. “I want to get along with them.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.