TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

September 22, 2003

(as amended on October 14, 2003)

 

A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, at 7:06 PM by Council President Kenneth G. Littman.  The following members were present:

 

David J. Long, Vice President

Julio J. DiGiando

Guy J. Settipane

absent:  Claire M. Ferguson

 

also present:

A. Lauriston Parks, Town Solicitor

Arlene D. Petit, Town Clerk

 

Lisa Bryer, Town Planner arrived at 8:00 PM

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

President Littman commended the 325th Anniversary Committee members and Town employees for a successful 325th Anniversary celebration.

 

SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION

 

None

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

It was requested that items 3 (a), (b) and 4 (a) be removed from the Consent Agenda.  It was moved by Council President Littman seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Consent Agenda as amended.  So unanimously voted.  The Consent Agenda consisted of the following:

 

1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

a)                  08/25/2003 Regular Minutes - Amended

b)                  09/08/2003 Regular Meeting

2)                  Bills and Payroll

3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

a)        

b)                   

c)                  Conservation Commission (08/12/2003)

d)                  Library Board of Trustees (07/22/2003)

4)                  Proclamations & Resolutions from other cities/towns:

a)        

5)                  Press Release re: Quonset/Davisville Management Corp

6)                  Abatements/Addenda of Taxes

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3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

a)         Jamestown Housing Authority (08/06/2003)

 

Councilor DiGiando asked for additional information regarding the statement in the minutes of the Board of Director’s Meeting for the Jamestown Housing Authority regarding Pemberton Place.  The Council requested that the Clerk provide clarification on the Housing Authority’s discussion about taking over Pemberton Place for the next Council meeting on October 14, 2003.

 

                        b)         Jamestown Affordable Housing Committee (07/14/2003)

 

Councilor Settipane referred to the Jamestown Affordable Housing Committee minutes referencing a Strategic Affordable Housing Plan.  Councilor Settipane announced that the Town Planner is seeking a grant to assist the Town in preparing a plan to meet the State’s goal of 10% goal for affordable housing.  Presently, Jamestown is at approximately 3% of that goal.

 

Additionally, Councilor Settipane requested support for a lobbying effort to change the State law relating to Towns and Cities Low and Moderate Income Housing.  The law in effect allows large housing development by the developer committing 10% of the housing to affordable housing.  Under the new fast track law developers are able to bypass some zoning requirements. 

Councilor Settipane stated that of major concern to Jamestown is access to water and sewer. 

 

Councilor Settipane requested that Representative Long provide the Council with the two Bills presented to the General Assembly regarding Low and Moderate Income Housing.  Representative Long noted that the two Bills previously considered by the General Assembly did not pass.

 

Review of the Bills submitted to the General Assembly and possible lobbying efforts will be continued to the Council meeting on October 14, 2003. 

 

4)         Proclamations & Resolutions from other cities/towns:

a)         Town of Middletown re: resolution to provide tax relief to qualifying veterans

 

Councilor Settipane noted that there is a discrepancy in the definition of a veteran.  Representative Long stated that he has requested a clarification from the State Legal Department and will forward it to the Council when he receives clarification. 

 

It was the consensus of the Council to continue the resolution from the Town of Middletown to the next Council agenda on October 14, 2003. 

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to adopt items 3 (a), (b) and 4 (a).  So unanimously voted.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

 

None

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

1)         Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to off-street parking requirements in the village business district (duly advertised in the Jamestown Press)

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to open the hearing on the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment related to off-street parking requirements in the village business district at 7:25 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

Council President Littman informed the audience that the purpose of tonight’s hearing is to extend the sunset clause on the proposed amendment extending the ordinance until January 1, 2004.  It is expected that all required data will be submitted to the Council by January 1 and they will be better able to address off-street parking requirements in the downtown village district.

 

Council President Littman called for public comment on the proposed amendment.  There being no public comment, it was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to close the public hearing at 7:28 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to adopt the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to off-street parking requirements in the village business district.  So unanimously voted.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

1)                  Scheduled request to address

a)                  Robert Ballou, Chief of Staff, RIDEM re: return of fish-processing vessel M/V Dauriya

 

Robert Ballou, Chief of Staff at RIDEM, informed the Council that RIDEM is strongly recommending the placement of the fish-processing vessel M/V Dauriya in the same area of East Passage as last season.  Mr. Ballou stated that based upon the availability of fish, it is expected that the M/V Dauriya will be based in the East Passage from November 1, 2003 through May 1, 2004. 

 

Council President Littman inquired what restrictions RIDEM would be putting into effect.

 

Mr. Ballou stated that the restrictions from last year have been lifted; however if there are any complaints or problems they may be reinstated.

 

This year the permit will be written limiting the anchorage to the East Bay.  It is the intent of RIDEM to minimize any impact to the surrounding communities.  Mr. Ballou stated that RIDEM would be willing to revisit the hours of operation if it becomes a problem.

 

William Quinby, representative of Mayflower International Ltd., thanked the Council for their consideration.

 

Following a lengthy discussion regarding the Councils’ desire to support the local fishing community and because there were no complaints from residents, it was the consensus of the Council to allow the fish-processing vessel, M/V Dauriya to anchor in the East Passage from November 1, 2003 to May 1 2004.

 

2)                  Non-scheduled request to address

 

Gayen Thompson, Grinnell Street, asked Representative Long if there was a chance that the fish processing would require additional vessels. 

 

Representative Long indicated that if the market place warrants, it could be a possibility in the future.  Additional fish-processing vessels would be authorized through the Governor’s Office.

 

Jill Anderson West Reach Drive, informed the Council that a modular home being installed on North Main Road was blocking traffic.  Ms. Anderson expressed her concern that emergency vehicles would not be able to access the North end of the island.  This was reported to the Police Department; however, Ms. Anderson did not feel that the problem was addressed.

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the Town Sergeant would immediately investigate this matter through the Police Department and return with a report for the Council. 

 

Upon further discussion, it was the consensus of the Council that the Town Administrator should be made aware of this situation.

 

Gloria Kurz, East Shore Road, stated that the pieces of the modular home are the width of the road.

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that to protect the safety of the community, a police detail could be charged to the contractor.

 

Rick Anderson, West Reach Drive indicated that the Fire Department was unaware of the situation.

 

Maryanne Joyce expressed concern that the Police Department did not respond.

 

David Pritchard, Jamestown Harbor Commission Chair presented his letter of resignation to the Council.  It was the consensus of the Council that the letter of resignation from David Pritchard be referred to the October 14, 2003 Council meeting.

 

Representative Bruce Long reported on the following issues:

 

Cedar Lane Properties

The State has parties interested in purchasing property on Cedar Lane.  There is a meeting scheduled on Monday with the Town Administrator, Town Planner, Senator Paiva-Weed, and Representative Long to discuss how to proceed with the Town’s plans.

 

Port Security Grant

The application has been submitted and the review process is being completed.  It is expected that we will receive notice by October.

 

Valerie Moy Malloy, Columbia Avenue inquired about Council discussion relating to the separation of Water and Sewer accounting.   

 

Councilor Settipane stated that Water and Sewer has been established as an enterprise account operated by the Town, with user groups paying for the use of the water.  Presently, the Council does not know what those costs are from general Town services – non-user groups and user groups.  It would be a policy decision how to handle this; however, before any decisions can be made, those costs must be identified.

 

Council President Littman noted that there has been a policy established to track the major water and sewer projects that Department of Public Works is involved in and segregate those costs.   The discussion now is whether we should be segregating all costs or should we leave it the way it is.

 

Steven Tiexiera, Howland Avenue, commented that the Highway Department has always done work for the Recreation Department, Harbor Commission and the Water and Sewer Department.     

 

Councilor Long said that the Council will be looking at whether the procedure is cost effective to the community.

 

REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS

 

1)                  Town Administrator’s report (attached)

 

 

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Town Administrator's Report

September 22, 2003

 

The following report consists of items of general interest to the Council. I will be pleased to provide any additional clarification or information you require.

 

Great news we escaped the wrath of Hurricane Isabel.

 

Early last week the Town's Emergency Management Team held a routine preparedness meeting to discuss the threat of hurricane Isabel. The team is made up of senior staff members who already had made initial plans and taken necessary steps to prepare Jamestown if Isabel was to strike.

 

I am finalizing the agenda for a workshop for Department Heads and Town Council. I intend to hold this workshop at Alton Jones sometime during the month of October. The following dates are available October 20, 21, 27, 28, and 29. I would like to select two possible dates so I can coordinate with Department Heads and reserve a meeting room at Alton Jones.

 

School Committee Chairwoman Cathy Kaiser asked that I participate along with School Superintendent Sipala, and Council Liaison Guy Settipane in a planning summit on education involving State officials, school and municipal officials in Newport, Portsmouth, and Middletown. Recently the towns of Middletown, Portsmouth and Newport have held two planning session to discuss short‑term plans for creative funding to take the burden off local taxpayers and also long‑term changes in the State aid funding formula. A forum of this nature involving both school and municipal officials brainstorming together can prove to be beneficial to all parties. I look forward to participating and will update all of our progress.

 

Town Clerk Arlene Petit recently hired Todd Beran as the new part‑time clerk. Todd will be dedicating most of his time to Probate Court as well as assisting updating boards, commissions, and committees.

 

Town Planner Lisa Bryer returned to work on September 15, 2003. IO would like to commend Planning Clerk Cindee Reppe who did an excellent job in assisting the Planning Commission and maintaining the smooth operation of the Planning Department during Lisa's absence.

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Wastewater Management Plan

Councilor Settipane inquired about the guaranteed low interest funding for residents requiring system repairs or replacements.  The inspections are underway; however, the Wastewater Management Plan has not been completely approved by RIDEM.  The low interest funding (Clean Water Financing) is tied into the approval of RIDEM.  Although there is some 3% funding available for low to moderate-income residents, some residents would not qualify for that funding.   Councilor Settipane requested that an update be given to the Council at the next Council meeting on October 14, 2003 as to when the Wastewater Management Plan will be approved; and in turn, when the low interest loans will be available.

 

Councilor DiGiando requested a report from Justin Jobin on the progress of the project as well as the funds that have been set aside for the project.

 

It was the consensus of the Council that they receive a report from Mr. Jobin at the next Council meeting on October 14, 2003.

 

2)                  Tree Preservation and Protection Committee

a)         Letter from Chair re: proposed amendments to the Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance

The Council discussed the recommendations from the Jamestown Tree Preservation and Protection Committee regarding amendments to the Tree Ordinance. 

 

Amendment #1

(f) Hazard Control

There was concern expressed regarding the Town taking action as suggested in the amendment (…and if such action is not timely taken by the property owner to enter onto the property and perform such remediation as necessary.)  This could possibly expose the Town to liability.  There was also concern expressed regarding the reimbursement to the Town for costs associated with the removal with a hazardous tree on private property.

 

The Town Solicitor explained that when defining public hazard relating to amendment #1, a tree would have to be located on private property but would have the potential to fall into public property causing damage or harm.

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the word public hazard should be defined.  Additionally, the Town Solicitor was asked to review Amendment #1 for clarification.

 

It was the consensus of the Council to put this on the Council Agenda for October 14, 2003 for further review.

 

Amendment #2

Councilor DiGiando stated that the 14’ is a minimum standard of clearance in order to provide safety to vehicles.

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that putting this provision in the ordinance, requiring a landowner to trim trees over a highway, would not excuse the Town from liability in the event that it wasn’t done.  The Town has the obligation to keep the highways safe for the passage of vehicles. 

           

3)                  Harbor Management Commission

a)         Letter from Harrison M. Wright re: resignation from Committee

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Settipane to accept the letter of resignation from Harrison M. Wright.  So unanimously voted.

 

Council President Littman requested that the Clerk send a letter thanking him for his work on the Harbor Management Commission and his work towards the Jamestown Harbor Ordinance.

 

4)                  Town Clerk's Office

a)         Memorandum from the Town Clerk re: Alcoholic Beverage License Fees – proposed increase

 

Following a discussion on the State’s increase in the fees related to Alcoholic Beverage Licensing, it was the consensus of the Council to request public comment on October 14, 2003.

 

The Town Solicitor advised that any change to the fee schedule could be made at the October 14, 2003 Council meeting.

 

5)                  Planning Commission

a)         Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to Low and Moderate Income Housing

 

The Town Planner stated that it was the intent of the Planning Commission to develop a process for reviewing Low and Moderate-Income Housing projects.  Jamestown has a strong commitment to achieve its 10% goal of affordable housing as witnessed by its long standing Affordable Housing Committee and its relationship with the State of Rhode Island and participation in the Community Development Block Grant Program.  Additionally, the Town Planner informed the Council that the proposed amendment is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and consistent with the Rhode Island Zoning Enabling Act. 

 

Following Council discussion and finding the proposed amendment in order, it was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to schedule the proposed Zoning Amendment related to Low and Moderate Income Housing for hearing with proper advertising on October 27, 2003 at 7:00 PM at the Jamestown Philomenian Library.  So unanimously voted.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

1)         Wastewater Management Plan (continued from Board of Water & Sewer meeting 09/15/2003)

 

Previously discussed.

 

2)         DEM Freshwater Wetlands Program application of Andrea Colognese and Doriana Carella of 2 Watson Avenue to alter a freshwater wetland.  Property is located at Plat 16, Lot 351; Gondola Avenue (continued from 9/8/2003)

            a)         Letter to the Town Administrator from the Building Official

 

Christopher Powell, Conservation Commission Chair informed the Council that CVommission members have visited the site and will discuss the property further at their next meeting.  Additionally, Mr. Powell reported that the site plan as presented by the applicant appears to be accurate.  The drainage issue is a major concern and the Conservation Commission would like to see a conservation easement addressing issues related to drainage and the protection of any adverse impact on surrounding areas.

 

Charlotte Zarlengo, Seaside Drive informed the Council that the development of the property in the area of Gondola Avenue and Beacon Avenue has had a problem with runoff water.  Because they do not contain the water on their property, the water comes right down the hill and floods out areas on Seaside Drive.

 

The Council discussed the process as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance, Article 3, Section 308 as it relates to setbacks from freshwater wetlands. 

 

The Town Solicitor stated that the Council could share any concerns that they may have with RIDEM; however, he would not advise them to disapprove of it at this time.

 

It was the consensus of the Council to respond to the notice from RIDEM regarding Plat 16, Lot 351, expressing concerns relating to drainage and the downstream impact and disturbance that this might have on the outside area.

 

3)         Planning Commission copy of letter to the Tree Preservation and Protection Committee re: Amendments to the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance  (continued from 9/8/2003)

a)         Order advertising and set hearing date

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the letter from the Tree Preservation and Protection Committee regarding amendments to the Tree Preservation & Protection Ordinance.  So unanimously voted.

 

4)         Public Access & Maintenance of Rights-of-Way (cont. from 08/12/2003)

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the Town Solicitor forward recommendations to the Council regarding public access and maintenance of rights-of-way.

 

The Town Solicitor stated that prior to making any recommendations, he would meet with the Police Chief, Town Planner and the Town Administrator.  It is expected that Mr. Parks will have a recommendation to the Council by the October 27, 2003 Council meeting.

 

5)         Harbor Management Comprehensive Plan and Harbor Management Ordinance

a)         Letter from Town Solicitor

 

The Council discussed the letter submitted by the Town Solicitor regarding jurisdiction as it relates to the Harbor Management Comprehensive Plan and Harbor Management Ordinance.  Mr. Parks stated that Section 46-4-6.9 authorizes the Town to regulate “the public waters within the confines of the Town”.   Mr. Parks further stated that it is reasonable to assume that the Town’s jurisdiction on the east side of the island extends one half of the way to Newport or Middletown or going west half of the way to North Kingstown.  Consequently, the Town most assuredly has jurisdiction in those areas.  The Harbor Management Commission is attempting to work this out with CRMC and RIDEM

 

Councilor DiGiando noted that it was his understanding that although the Town has jurisdiction, that does not mean that moorings can be installed in that area.

 

The Town Solicitor stated that Councilor DiGiando was correct in his understanding; however, it does not prohibit the Harbormaster from enforcing the law in those areas. 

 

Councilor DiGiando asked for clarification on the waters in Mackerel Cove. 

 

The Town Solicitor indicated that all of the water at Mackerel Cove is within the Town’s confines because it is in a cove within two parts of the Town.  In reference to jet skis or other recreational activities, the Town Solicitor noted that the Town should take as much jurisdiction that it must take to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Jamestown.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the communication from the Town Solicitor.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)         Letter from Harrison Wright re: corrections

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Council President Littman to accept the corrections to the Comprehensive Harbor Management Plan and Harbor Management Ordinance from Harrison Wright.  So unanimously voted.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

1)         Letter from Nancy L. Mason re: Great Creek

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the letter from Nancy L. Mason.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)         Letter from the Jamestown Shores Association re: Ship Street; High Groundwater Variance Request

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the letter from the President of the Jamestown Shores Association.  So unanimously voted.

 

Councilor DiGiando noted that he attended the Planning Commission meeting when the Ship Street property was discussed.  Councilor DiGiando expressed his concern regarding the difficult time the Planning Commission and audience members were having in interpreting sections of the Ordinance.  There was some confusion when attempting to identify “minimum impact”

 

Council President Littman recommended that the Town Solicitor be contacted if there is any clarification needed regarding the implementation of the Ordinance.  

 

The Town Solicitor noted that the Ship Street matter is pending before the Planning Commission; therefore, this particular property should not be discussed without having the property owners present.

 

3)                  Letter from US Representative Kennedy re: Domestic Security Enhancement Act

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the letter from US Representative Kennedy.  So unanimously voted.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1)         One Day Entertainment License:

a)         Jamestown Rotary Club to sell T-shirts at the Community Center on October 13th.  If favorable grant request and waive $5.00 fee subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures. 

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to grant the One Day Entertainment License to the Jamestown Rotary Club on October 13, 2003 and to waive the fee; subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)         Event Application:

a)         Jamestown Rotary Club to hold the 28th annual Jamestown Classic Bike Race on October 13th island wide.  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to approve the 28th Annual Jamestown Classic Bike Race on October 13, 2003; subject to the approval of the route and traffic control by the Chief of Police and Town Administrator and subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

            3)         Victualing/Mobile Unit License Application

a)         Allied Domecq QSR dba: Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts is applying to open a ice cream, coffee shop and deli at 3 Ferry Wharf (former Spinnaker’s).  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.

 

In answer to Council concerns, Daniel Connelly, applicant, informed the Council that the donuts would be delivered in a small minivan rather than a large delivery truck.  Additionally, signage is being discussed with the condominium association and will fit in with what is expected and required in Jamestown. 

 

The Council discussed the location of the mobile unit.  The applicant insured the Council that the mobile unit would only be used at the place of business on Ferry Wharf.  The Town Solicitor advised that the applicant must comply with the Zoning Ordinance.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to grant the Victualing/ Mobile Unit License for Allied Domencq QSR d/b/a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts at 3 Ferry Wharf; with the understanding that the mobile unit will be used on site and subject to the hours of operation as indicated on the application and subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

4)                  Sunday Sales License

a)         Allied Domecq QSR. dba: Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts is applying to open an ice cream, coffee shop and deli at 3 Ferry Wharf (former Spinnaker’s) on Sundays.  If favorable grant request subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Sunday Sales License for Allied Domecq QSR. d/b/a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts; subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

            5)         RI Foundation re:  Affordable Housing Strategic Plan (site visit)

                        a)         Council President or Representative to be in attendance

                        b)         Date selection:              Tuesday, October 7, 2003 @ 1:00 PM

 

Councilor Long volunteered to attend the Rhode Island Foundation Affordable Housing Strategic Plan site visit on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 1:00 PM.

 

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS:

 

None

 

OPEN FORUM CONTINUED (if necessary)

 

Town Sergeant, Fred Pease reported that the Police Department and the Fire Department were aware of the situation at the North Main Road site.    Presently, all vehicles are parked on America Way.  The Police Department will monitor the traffic situation. 

 

Gayen Thompson, Hull Cove stated that Clarke Village Road is extremely densely populated.  Ms. Thompson expressed her concern regarding the continued building in that area.

 

There being no further business before the Council, it was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Arlene D. Petit

Town Clerk

 

C:         Town Council Members (5)

            Town Administrator

            Town Solicitor

            Administrative Circulation