2010-02-25 / Front Page

Gym plan moves forward

By Iain Wilson

A building that once housed a nautical rope manufacturing company will soon become home to an expanded island gym.

Jason and Patrick Vieira appeared before the Jamestown Planning Commission last Wednesday night to seek a special use permit to officially conduct business as Balance Sport and Fitness, LLC at the location.

The building at 14 Douglas Ave. was once used to manufacture nautical rope by Anacko Cordage.

The Vieiras have been using 800 square feet of the 2,000- square-foot building for their business. The plot of land itself measures 10,000 square feet.

Most of the commission’s discussion focused on the issue of the building’s parking lot.

The Vieiras are looking to create 10 parking spaces, which should be ample as there are rarely more than five or six people working out in the building at one time, they said.

The applicants also plan to create two additional spaces on the side of the property that borders Valley Street, with these spots incorporated into a crushed stone turnaround.

In a planning report, Town Planner Lisa Bryer explained the formula for calculating the necessary number of parking spaces. There should be five spaces per 1,000 square feet of the 2,000-squarefoot building. She also wrote that ideally, no cars will be backing from the lot into the street.

“We’re going to redesign the parking, and as soon as we can get on it, we’re going to make proper steps toward grading it,” said Jason Vieira, adding that they will be working with Atlantic Lawn & Garden on the design.

Patrick Vieira added that the process will be difficult, saying, “It’s going to be a lot of work.”

After discussion, the commission made two motions to move the application process forward.

The commission first motioned to approve the development plan, with a handful of conditions and findings of fact. The findings of fact found that the plan was an acceptable property use with no negative impact, and also that there will be no dumpster or exterior trash on the premises.

The commission also presented conditions with the motion, including one that said two street trees measuring at least three inches in diameter must be planted. The Vieiras must also get approval from the town water and sewer department.

In addition, the building’s lighting must meet current code and appropriate signage should be placed for business and parking.

A unanimous vote approved the plan, but the conditions must be met and be reviewed administratively.

After the vote, the commission then motioned to recommend the plan and design to the zoning board. That motion was also approved unanimously.

In other business, discussion continued on the upcoming Comprehensive Plan. Bryer proposed that citizen subcommittees be created for updating the Comprehensive Plan. She explained that each commission member could choose to head a subcommittee on any of the elements in the Comprehensive Plan, from economic development to natural resources.

No motions were made, and no plans were finalized, but subcommittees of six to eight town members could meet three or four times to help with the update of the Comprehensive Plan. After the discussion, Bryer took tallies of each commission member’s top two areas of interest.

She said that several other communities in Rhode Island have implemented the use of subcommittees.

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