A stop work order was posted Thursday on the “Shed Down Under,” a storage trailer meant to temporarily replace the Down Under Bar that burned when the Beach Club burned last summer, according to Cindy McCoy, Summit Township secretary.
Greg Sutterlin, sole proprietor of Park Restoration LLC, implied the posted order was a formality, as he had ceased operations Wednesday after being asked to do so by Summit Township, he said.
“We’re aware we need a building permit,” Sutterlin said. “It was a last-minute effort to try and operate some sort of facility at the Beach Club.”
Sutterlin hoped to maintain continuity between the previous years of entertainment until a new structure can be built as he believes the entertainment aspect will still bring people to the area to patronize local business.
He expressed wanting to run the Shed Down Under parallel to architect drawings in progress to build a temporary structure to generate funds. Sutterlin expects to have the architect drawings to build a temporary structure by the end of the week.
“We’re (hastily) completing architectural drawings and already submitted a zoning application,” he said. “If we have entertainment, it brings people in to spend money. It benefits not only our business, but (also) the surrounding community.”
Sutterlin is waiting for a building permit and plans to resume work at the Shed Down Under once architectural review and permitting are available. His goal is for the Shed Down Under to open for entertainment by Memorial Day weekend.
Sutterlin began operating the shed without permission from Summit Township or the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park.
State law subjects anyone operating without a building permit to potential fines of up to $1,000 per day, according to the Middle Department Inspection Authority, with whom Sutterlin’s architect is working to get township approval, according to Sutterlin.
“Both MDIA and Summit Township have been cooperative in identifying what needs to be done in regards to (obtaining) a building permit and moving forward,” Sutterlin said. “However, the trustees are fighting me on the construction of the building and are refusing to allow it in a similar manner to how they’ve refused prior proposals.”
He claims the park trust received 22.5 percent of every dollar generated at the Beach Club or Down Under Bar and that by refusing to allow a temporary building to generate revenue, the trustees are reducing their potential income for the season, Sutterlin said.
Sutterlin is also operating the “Off the Beach...club” at The Palms nightclub, which he leased on Route 618 just outside the park.
He has contracted entertainment for the site as a substitute for the Beach Club. The new site’s kickoff, “Wake the Lake,” is scheduled for May 17.
Sutterlin also hopes to utilize the Convention Center at Conneaut Lake Park for entertainment purposes, having leased that site as well. Upcoming events include hard rock acts Buckcherry and Bret Michaels country acts Dustin Lynch and Rodney Atkins.