2006-08-31 / News

One of four applications to build approved by board

By Sam Bari

At its Aug. 22 meeting, the Zoning Board of Review approved only one of four applications for special-use permits and variances required for construction. The board voted to grant continuances for two of the applications to construct homes. The majority of the five-member panel felt that the projects required the opinion of the town engineer before they could be approved. The denied application was turned down for several reasons that included not presenting the entire structure for the requested variance in the plans.

Virginia Kitts of 17 Plymouth Rd. presented the only application that the board approved, voting 50. Her brother, James Hyman, a former Jamestown town solicitor, helped with her presentation for a variance to replace an existing garage 2 feet from the front lot line on Fowler Street, where 15 feet is required, and 5 feet from the side lot line, where 7 feet is required. The request added 1 additional foot to a previously granted request. The reason for the application was to expand the garage to allow adequate space to accommodate the applicant's car. The lot is located in a residential R8 zone and contains 6,461 square feet of land.

Attorney John Revens of East Greenwich represented Bob Domin, owner of Elaine Enterprises, in an application for a special-use permit and variance for a property located at Prospect Avenue and North Main Road. Engineer Michael McCormick of Alpha Associates of East Greenwich helped with the presentation. An appraiser from Godfrey Real Estate Appraisers of Newport also assisted as an expert witness.

The applicant requested relief to construct a 26by 52-foot, three-bedroom, single-family house within the high groundwater table and impervious layer overlay district with less than the required yard setbacks. The property is located in a residential R80 zone and contains 15,338 square feet of land. A prospective buyer grew up in Jamestown, where his family has lived for decades. He told the board he would like to buy the property, and after getting the house plans approved by the board, he would move back to Jamestown when the house was finished.

Citing other properties in the area that had been granted relief for similar situations, Revens argued in favor of Domin's propsal. However, the Domin's request did not include a 12-footdeep deck that was in the plans. If constructed, the deck would bring the structure an additional 3 feet out of compliance with the regulations. In addition, two abutters opposed the project because of drainage issues, and a third abutter opposed the location of the garage. Also, the Planning Commission had recommended to the zoning board approval for a two-bedroom house and the request was for three bedrooms, although the applicant said that the third bedroom did not increase the square footage of the house. The board voted 3-2 to deny the request.

Jamestown attorney Mark E. Liberati represented Brian and Darien Petit, whose property is located on Seaside Drive in an application for a special-use permit to construct a single-family home within the high groundwater table and impervious layer overlay district. The lot is located in a residential R40 zone and contains 33,050 square feet of land. Architect Christopher Tuck of Providence and engineer Nicholas Capezza of Cranston assisted in the presentation as expert witnesses. After listening to comprehensive testimony, the board voted 4-1 to seek the opinion of the town engineer and grant a continuance to the next zoning board meeting before making a decision.

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