2006-09-14 / News

Two plans recommended for approval in the Shores

By Michaela Kennedy

The Planning Commission approved two development plans in the Jamestown Shores at its Sept. 6 meeting.

The commissioners praised Peter and Linda DiBiase of Seaside Drive for their comprehensive proposal for a special-use permit for their property on Beach Avenue. The commission also recommended approval on the modified development plan for Dan and Jean Lilly, also on Beach Avenue.

The commission unanimously approved a development plan on Beach Avenue for DiBiase that calls for a special-use permit to build a three-bedroom house on two lots that will be merged into one.

John Caito, the engineer for the project, gave an outline of the plan to the commission. "The intent is to merge lots 52 and 53. We designed a walk-out structure that takes advantage of the slope on the lot. All storm water will be contained on site," he said.

Peter DiBiase noted that he had lived on the island for 30 years and acquired land in the Jamestown Shores. He said a fourlot parcel on Ship Street that he owned and had a legal right on which to build. "I have committed to sell that four-lot parcel to the town for $50,000, now valued at over $200,000. If you grant our variance, we will go through with the sale of this lot," DiBiase said.

DiBiase submitted a letter of approval, signed by immediate abutters, for his proposed construction on Beach Street to the commission.

Commissioner Richard Ventrone said that the plan was the best presentation he has seen come before the board.

Commissioner Victor Calabretta also commented on the plan. "When I first saw the plan, I choked at the fill, but then I saw the trade-off. Overall, I feel, it's a good plan," he said.

Town Engineer Michael Gray made a note on the fill in a memorandum to the board. "The applicant has attempted to minimize the fill; however, the fill is necessary in the area of the proposed septic system," he wrote.

Commissioner Jean Brown thanked the development team for being proactive. "I've never heard such a comprehensive presentation," she said.

Commissioner Michael White added his support for the plan. "The reason for the plan's success started with a concerned citizen," he added. Commission Chairman Gary Girard agreed, noted how smoothly a presentation can go "when you come with a whole package and a concern for the neighborhood."

DiBiase gave praise back to the board, referring to the changes made in the ordinance in recent years and the meeting in July of the town boards concerning high ground water. "I thought your workshop was excellent. The solicitor was excellent in trying to give directions. You tried to be fair to everyone," he said.

Hubbard recused herself from the review.

In old business, the commission reviewed and unanimously approved modifications made to a development plan for Dan and Jean Lilly on Beach Street. Calabretta made the motion.

John Caito, the engineer for the applicant, offered details on the garage foundation, which will allow storm water to flow through. "We've abandoned the idea of a basement," he added.

Bob Hartley, architect for the project, said the attic portrayed in the design would be used for storage.

Brian Goldman, attorney for the Lillys, said that the applicant would be willing to add a condition that would prohibit an extra bedroom.

In old business, Stephen King, engineer for Evelyn Furtado, asked for a continuance of her two-lot subdivision application in order to make modifications to the plan. The commission agreed to move the review to the first meeting in October.

Town Planner Lisa Bryer noted that questions arose with Town Solicitor Larry Parks concerning whether or not hardship would be present if the waivers were not allowed.

"The current setback is seven feet. If a private road were put in, the lot would become a corner lot, which would require a 15 ft. setback," Bryer said.

James Donnelly, attorney for the applicant, pointed out if a 15 foot setback were required for the new corner lot, "you're taking away the rights of the abutters."

Commissioner Victor Calabretta recused himself from the hearing.

In other business, Commissioner Jean Brown, planning liaison to the parking committee, reported that a proposed amendment to chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances, "Beaches and Other Water Related Facilities," would be addressed at the upcoming Town Council meeting. Brown said that representatives from the Jamestown Shores Association asked for a parking permit to be considered at Sunset Beach, since people from off island fill up the parking space there, which leaves little or no parking access for the residents.

Bryer told the commission that the reason why the beach parking has been left open for non-residents was because it was bought partly with federal money.

Girard said that, according to the master deed made for the beach area in 1947, "anyone can have access to the beach, but the town can control parking."

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