2007-03-08 / News

Adult day care needs expert witness

By Sam Bari

The Zoning Board of Review granted Charles and Gail Sheehan a continuance before ruling on their special use permit and dimensional variance application to build an adult day care center on North Main Road.

The Sheehans were not represented by counsel and did not bring expert witnesses to the Feb. 27 zoning board meeting when they presented their application. When Tom Duprete, a Cranston attorney representing abutters to the Sheehan property asked questions about the plans, Charles Sheehan was unable to give answers that satisfied the board members.

Zoning Board Chairman Thomas Ginnerty, as well as new Town Solicitor Wyatt A Brochu, suggested that the Sheehans request a continuance so they could bring expert witnesses to respond to technical questions about their plans for construction. Board member Richard Boren, also an attorney, said, "We can't tell you how to make your presentation, but I suggest that you return with possibly an architect or engineer, and you also might consider bringing an attorney to help you present your application. We need answers to our questions from credible sources before we can make a responsible decision." Charles Sheehan said that since the Planning Commission recommended their application, he didn't think expert witnesses would be needed.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of granting the Sheehans a continuance to the March 27 meeting of the board.

The Zoning Board of Review sitting as the Planning Board of Appeal considered the appeal of Roger and Maryjane Lavallee concerning the decision of the Planning Commission to approve the application of Evelyn F. Furtado on Oct. 11, 2006. The Furtado application for a two-lot subdivision with waivers for a private roadway was contested by the Lavallees in an appeal on Nov. 8, 2006.

Jamestown attorney James Donnelly represented the Lavallees, while attorney Ken Littman, also of Jamestown, represented Furtado.

Chairman Ginnerty asked for a legal opinion from town solicitor Brochu on the presentation of the appeal and the rebuttal given by Donnelly and Littman. Brochu was not willing to give an opinion based on the arguments of the two attorneys and asked them to submit briefs substantiating their positions that he could review.

The board voted 5-0 in favor of a continuance to give them time to consider the town solicitor's legal opinion.

In other business, the application of Mark Baker and Elizabeth Kneib to construct a single-family home at 6 Baldwin Ct. was given a continuance because of a dispute over the property line with an abutter.

The application of Peter Flood to construct a second floor addition to an existing garage at 2 Baldwin Ct. was approved by the board with a 4-1 vote. Ginnerty cast the dissenting vote.

Lynne and Armand Musumeci were represented by attorney James Donnelly in their application for a variance to construct additions to an existing dwelling on their property at 260 Capstan St. The board voted 4-1 to approve the application. Ginnerty cast the dissenting vote.

John Perrotti's application for a special use permit for his property on Ship Street was granted a continuance in response to correspondence from his attorney, Margaret L. Hogan of Wakefield. The letter requested a continuance to the March 27 agenda because of an expert witness who was not available for the Feb. 27 meeting.

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