2006-03-09 / News

Public hearing set on Cedar Lane subdivision

By Michaela Kennedy

The Planning Commission met last week to continue preliminary review of the Cedar Lane nine-lot subdivision.

The commission told applicant Joseph Manning that the plan was ready for review and scheduled a public hearing on April 5.

Acting Planning Commission Chairman Victor Calabretta said the March 1 preliminary review for the Cedar Lane development plan was "to make sure everything is in order for a public hearing."

John Murphy, the attorney representing the Mannings, noted that the checklist for the plan was complete. Murphy also noted that he had submitted a conservation easement form, as required by the town.

Commissioner Richard Ventrone complimented the team on a good plan. "It's a pleasure looking over these. It's very well done," Ventrone said, noting his disappointment that a sprinkler system was included in the plan. "There's enough land there that people could more grass. If they don't have water, then they won't be putting in super-duper fertilizer," he added.

George Gifford, landscape architect for the project, spoke in support of a sprinkler system. "My concern would be definitively that use of an automatic sprinkler system is going to be a more efficient watering system," he said.

Hubbard admitted that the underground automatic sprinklers were nice, but often had technical problems.

After some discussion of watering and landscaping, the commission decided to amend the appendix of landscaping rules to not allow sprinklers.

John Murphy suggested putting a restriction on the owners' by establishing laws that would allow only cistern water to be used for watering. "Cisterns are great. Everyone in Jamestown should have one," he added.

In correspondence, the commission received a letter from Joseph Palumbo, the attorney representing the subdivision application of Michael Dutton, requesting that the application be on the agenda for March 1, the same evening. The board also received a letter from Robert Cournoyer, engineer for the development plan, explaining why the land, at the far north end of island, was not practically suited for a cluster development. "I believe a normal cluster development would not be feasible for this site," he wrote.

Dutton and Palumbo went to the meeting last week to find out why they were not put on the agenda. Palumbo told the board that the Duttons got a letter from the town planner saying that she would not put the application on the agenda until a cluster development plan was filed as required by the ordinance. "Commissioner Hubbard asked that we do our best to come up with a cluster. I think we've gone full circle. We want to proceed with the plan submitted," Palumbo said.

Commissioner Richard Ventrone showed surprise that the board did not receive a cluster plan. "We asked for the plan and we'd like to see it," he said. Palumbo replied, "How can we provide you with a cluster plan if our engineer says it's not feasible?"

Hubbard said she looked over the plan and thought the applicant "could still set aside over 40 percent for open space."

Palumbo agreed with Hubbard, but added, "We're in a situation where we've been told we need to submit a cluster plan. We cannot do that. We've submitted a plan and we want to be heard on that plan."

Calabretta confirmed with the town planner that the Dutton application would be on the next agenda.

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