2006-06-15 / News

No Planning Commission vote on proposed village condos

By Sam Bari

Despite requests for conditional approval of the development plan for 10 Narragansett Ave. by attorney Bruce W. McIntyre and Project Engineer Matt Viana of Northeast Engineering, the Planning Commission refused to recommend the project to the Zoning Board of Review.

At the June 7 meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Gary Girard told McIntyre and Viana that the commission was not in a position to make a decision without the presence of Town Engineer Michael Gray. Girard also noted that a favorable recommendation could not be made until the affordable housing issue was resolved.

The application for converting the use of the ten-unit apartment building into condominiums was made by Raymond and Karyne Bazzano, new residents of Jamestown. They submitted the application on behalf of their Preston Real Estate firm of Boston, which owns the century old apartment house at 10 Narragansett Ave.

The Bazzanos said the renovation will add 800 square feet for six more bedrooms in the building.

They also are planning similar reconstruction and expansion for a property at 24 Narragansett Ave., and want the commission to apply the affordable housing requirement for 10 Narragansett Ave. to that project. However, there are no guarantees that the 24 Narragansett Ave. project will be completed because Bazzano has not yet closed on the property, although they will probably close this week.

McIntyre also requested a reduction in the $835,000 letter of credit required by the planning office, citing that the amount was exorbitant for the size of the project. Then Viana addressed the drainage issues that were raised at the commission's May 17 meeting.

He said that the applicant would meet all conditions as requested by the commission. Commissioner Victor Calabretta and Girard said they will not make any recommendations or sign anything until the plans are changed and approved by Gray.

Commissioner Richard Ventrone suggested that McIntyre address parking and drainage issues for 24 Narragansett Ave. before any recommendation can be made. Girard then suggested that 10 and 24 Narragansett Ave. be treated as separate issues.

Attorney John Murphy, representing the Bayview Condominium Association on an abutting property to 10 Narragansett Ave., submitted a letter to the Planning Commission informing the commissioners that BCA does not oppose the building replacement project proposed by Bazzano.

However, the BCA does request that when the time comes for the commission to act upon the applicant's proposal, that the following concerns are resolved in a positive fashion. The BCA wants assurance that the project will not interfere with the BCA's storm-water drainage system, connect to the system, or damage their drainage facilities.

The BCA also stated concerns about a proposed retaining wall causing damage to BCA's retaining wall on its side of the east boundary of the property. Additionally, BCA wants to restrict construction methods by barring blasting and pile driving to limit the possibility of risking damage to the BCA structures.

In other business, Pat Walker from Walker Engineering of West Greenwich represented Elaine Enterprises in a continuance for a request to construct a new dwelling on North Main Road. Walker said the applicant was willing to change the original plans to reduce a four-bedroom structure to a two-bedroom structure with a one-car garage instead of a two-car garage.

Girard recommended approving the plans for the two-bedroom structure and sending the revised plans to the zoning board for its approval.

The commissioners unanimously agreed.

Town Planner Lisa Bryer announced that since the budget for the new Town Hall had been approved, the Planning Office would be moving to temporary facilities at the golf course in July while construction takes place.

The commissioners agreed to cancel the planning commission meeting scheduled for July 5. The next meeting will be July 19.

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