Danedri Thompson
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Four members of the Gardner Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously agreed to allow a large American flag to fly outside Perkins Restaurant, 2000 E. Santa Fe, Gardner.
The decision was unanimous as only four of seven BZA members attended the March 28 BZA meeting.
The variance board members granted will allow Perkins Restaurant to install the largest U.S. flag manufactured on a 70-foot-high flag pole. Gardner code only allows 45-foot-high flag poles.
The March 28 decision was months in the making. The BZA tabled Perkins’ variance request during a Jan. 7 meeting. Though not in the flight path of New Century AirCenter, the flag pole required a stamp of approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, and BZA members wanted to get the federal agency’s OK before making a decision on Perkins’ request.
The restaurant opened its doors to customers on Feb. 10, and Perkins’ franchisees were still awaiting approval from the FAA. City officials canceled scheduled BZA meetings in February, because the FAA still had not approved the flag pole request.
It may be a few months yet before a large flag flies over the local restaurant. Restaurant franchisees had to special order the flag. It will also take several people to install and raise.
The restaurant will likely hold a special flag hoisting ceremony involving local civic groups when the flag arrives.