Community plan revisions continue
The Jamestown Planning Commission got one step closer at last week’s meeting to completing the revision of the Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan. For more than an hour at its March 23 meeting, the Commission – acting as a multiheaded wordsmith – revised the language of the 30 pages in the Open Space, Agriculture and Recreation section of the community plan.
Updates were aimed at improving accuracy, clarity and consistency. Three elements remain to be reviewed, including land use, population and housing. The final steps in the plan revision will include completing the Goals/Policies/Implementation Action Plan section of the document.
In other developments, correspondence was received by the Planning Commission from the Coastal Resources Management Council regarding the application by Mark Goerner of Jamestown to “construct and maintain” a 4.8-acre aquaculture farm.
The farm will use a “suspended culture technique” in which seed oysters are suspended in off-bottom screens or trays.
According to a CRMC’s public notice, the application was filed on Feb. 21.
Town Planner Lisa Bryer explained that she met with Goerner in a pre-application meeting arranged with the town by the CRMC. The proposed aquaculture farm will be built off of Watson Farm and will be approximately the same size as William Geib’s Aquaculture Farm, which is located off of Dutch Harbor.
According to CRMC records, Geib, also of Jamestown, received approval in December 1997, 12 months after filing the application.
Bryer said that the landside of Goerner’s operation of the farm will be based in North Kingstown.
There are no current plans for loading and off-loading product or equipment in Jamestown, according to Bryer.
In the planner’s report, Bryer said that two administrative subdivisions and one minor subdivision will be on the docket for future meetings.
“[Community Development Block] application season is in full swing,” Bryer said. Jamestown’s Community Development Block grant application for funds from the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be presented on May 4 to the Commission after its presented to the Town Council on May 2.
In affordable housing news, Bryer reported that the Swinburne Street project is out to bid. She also announced that the $50,000 usually available for gap funding and used to help accomplish the Swinburne project last year has been removed from the town’s budget as a way to save money.
Bryer concluded her report saying that the Bike Path Design Committee has requested $21,000, which is in the town budget, to design a bike path connection between North Road and East Shore Road.
In other news, Chairman Michael Swistak asked Bryer to update the Commission on an upcoming workshop. On a date yet to be determined, the Town Council will host a community workshop on Ft. Getty, Bryer said. She added that the Council asked the Planning Commission to hire a consultant to hold a Ft. Getty workshop to determine “future uses of Ft. Getty.”
Bryer explained that the landuse plan of 2006 – as determined by the now-disbanded Ft. Getty Committee – didn’t seem to represent the expectations of residents on appropriate use of the property. While the Commission recommended a survey, the “Town Council was not interested in another survey,” Bryer said, and instead asked for a “facilitated workshop.”
The bid process resulted in five proposals and three interviews: The Council awarded the contract to Landworks, a business based out of Worcester, Mass.
Subsequently, Recreation Director Bill Piva, Town Administrator Bruce Keiser and Bryer sat down with Landworks. Bryer said that she “is very excited about the workshop.” A second meeting will take place next week to finalize the agenda, according to Bryer.
Bryer said that the Planning Commission will likely have a role in the workshop, serving perhaps as table facilitators. The attendance is projected to reach 100 and will be held at Town Hall. The anticipation of a larger group would move the event to one of the schools, Bryer said.
Rosemary Enright was unanimously elected by the Planning Commission to serve a twomonth term as secretary of the Commission. Swistak reminded the group that the secretary is no longer responsible for minutes, but instead serves as acting chair in the event that both the chairperson and vice-chairperson are absent. Swistak added that the term is shortened because annual elections for officers of the Commission will take place in June.
The next meeting of the Jamestown Planning Commission is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.