PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
September 4th, 2002
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. and the following members were present:
Rob Lambert Gary Girard
Mary Brennan Betty Hubbard
Victor Calabretta Jean Magregor-Brown
Andrew Kallfelz Sue Barker
Lisa Bryer, AICP Town Planner
Cinthia Reppe Recording Clerk
John Murphy Attorney
Andrew Johnston Engineer N.E. & C.
Mark Conboy Engineer David Gardner & Associates
Prescott and Florence Froberg
Travis and Chris Hartley
A motion was made by Commissioner Girard and seconded by Commissioner Hubbard to accept the minutes as written. So voted:
Rob Lambert - Abstain Gary Girard - Aye
Mary Brennan - Aye Betty Hubbard - Aye
Victor Calabretta - Abstain Jean Magregor-Brown - Abstain
Andrew Kallfelz - Abstain Sue Barker - Aye
Michael Schnack - Aye
IV. Planners Report
The Town Council held hearings on the Zoning Ordinance Amendments related to Section 709, Adjacent Nonconforming Lots of Record Under the Same Ownership and Public and Open Space Zones including Development Plan Review on August 26, 2002. Both amendments were approved. Section 709 was approved without amendment. Public and Open Space amendments were amended and a final copy will be distributed to you when available.
The Town Council will hold the Public Hearing on the Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment related to protection of critical lands containing freshwater wetlands, high ground water table and/or shallow impervious layer (High Groundwater Table) on September 9 at 7:00 in the Library. I am meeting, with Dick Pastore and Brenda Dillmann on Wednesday at 9:00 to go over the ordinance. All Planning Commission Members are welcome to attend.
V. Old Business
1. Cedar Lane Estates, AP 5, Lot 510 - Preliminary Review
The Planning Commission reviewed this application at the last meeting. The Solicitor advised that they should have their Subdivision Suitability approval from DEM prior to Preliminary approval. The State DEM advises this also. Our regulations (preliminary checklist) require either water table verification or Preliminary Subdivision Suitability from the State'. This application has received water table verification. The issues raised at the last meeting included
I . Shallow depth to ledge
2. The grading and filling required to install septic systems in an area with high
groundwater table and shallow depth to ledge
3. The preservation of the 138 rural view corridor
4. Noise impact on proposed lots from 138
5. the irregular configuration of the western-most lot.
I would feel comfortable granting preliminary approval with the condition that they receive State approval prior to final approval. Should the State require changes to the location of the ISDS that conflict with the proposed design of the lots, then the applicant must come back to the Planning Commission.
I have provided a DRAFT Motion for approval with conditions that may be amended as needed by the Planning Commission. Please bring the plans for this application from the August 7 meeting packet.
2. Underground Utilities
The reason we are not using the State funds for undergrounding utilities is not only because we would rather have the other amenities, but because it was not allocated for undergrounding utilities. The money was allocated for streetscape enhancements: sidewalks, streetlights, street trees, benches, crosswalks, curbing, trash receptacles, planters, and bike racks. DOT has never allocated "enhancement" funding for undergrounding utilities because that is not the intent of the federal funding. Initially, DOT was entertaining allowing us to place the conduits as part of this project; provided that it does not constitute the majority of the funds and that the other improvements were the major focus of the project. After our experience with Southwest Avenue, this changed and they no longer supported the use of the funds for this purpose.
I have spoken with Mike Hebert, archeologist, of DOT to clarify some issues regarding placement of underground utilities on Narragansett Avenue. All work on a State right-of-way must receive DOT approval whether funded by federal, state or private dollars. All such work will automatically be forwarded to the State Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission for review and comment. If work is within a designated State register site or district, they can mandate further research or mitigation. If no State designated site or district is in the vicinity, they can make an advisory opinion on the issue. In this instance, they still may ask for an archeological survey based upon previous knowledge of an area.. To his knowledge, they have required archeological investigations based upon both the State Historic Preservation Act and the State Historic Cemeteries Act.
The obligation to pay the Narragansett Indians for oversight is based upon a contract with the State for all work involving Federal funds only.
If there is consensus that this issue should be further investigated, I would recommend the feasibility of the following be investigated also:
1) Placing utility lines behind the buildings fronting on Narragansett Avenue
2) Placing of conduits by Rotary drilling (Randy Collins is speaking with the
Beta Group on the issue this week)
V1. Old Business
1. Hartley- Minor Subdivision with Street Extension - Preliminary Review/Set
This application proposes to create two lots from one in an R-40 district at the end of Ship Street. A private gravel road with a cul-de-sac is being, proposed. Both lots meet the requirement of Zoning. This is a joint administrative/minor subdivision because two small parcels will be split off from the larger tract and included in the adjacent parcels. In both instances it is to correct previous encroachments onto the applicants property. This is a benefit to both properties and will make both of them more conforming with Zoning lot size.
The applicant is considering a paved public street and will inform the Planning Commission of their decision prior to the meeting on Wednesday. If they chose to have a private road with gravel surface, the Planning Commission shall require a street ownership and maintenance agreement between the two lots. Whether private or public, the engineer needs to demonstrate how the stormwater will be handled from the road surface so as not to impact the abutting property owners.
This application requires a public hearing because of the street extension. I would recommend scheduling the public hearing for the October 2 meeting.
2. Planning Commission Attendance
Cyndee has provided attendance records for all Planning Commission Members for the last year for your use.
Town Planner Lisa Bryer informed the Planning Commission that the Town Council approved the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments to Section 709 as written and Public Zone with amendments. She also asked the Planning Commissioners to attend the Public Hearing on Monday September 9th 2002 for the High Groundwater Ordinance. Ms. Bryer also stated that the Town Engineer Richard Pastore would be in her office on Friday morning to meet with Brenda Dillmann to discuss Mondays meeting.
Commissioner Schnack reported that the Harbor Commission is still working on the ordinance with the concentration on moorings, density and access areas.
Commissioner Girard reported that the Parking Committee will be conducting meetings again at the request of the Town Council with Grinnell and Elm streets being the first areas to look at in addition to Park Dock and Melrose Ave.
Attorney John Murphy introduced Andrew Johnston and the applicant Mr. Joe Manning and gave a brief update on the project. There are 3 items in the Conditions of Approval that they would like to address. The first one is #4, #7, and #8. Numbers 4 and 7 they object to but will do it. Mr. Manning asked to address the Planning Commissioners regarding #8. He stated that he would like to go with the towns desire but thinks that the 100-foot buffer is too much and wants to compromise. He also said that he felt the fence would be unattractive. A discussion ensued regarding item #8 of the Conditions of Approval. A motion was made by Commissioner Lambert and seconded by Commissioner Girard to approve the plan as follows:
A. Findings of Fact
The Board makes the following findings:
B. Conditions of Approval
So unanimously voted.
The Planning Commission decided to take New Business 1. before Old Business 2.
VI. New Business
Mark Conboy, Engineer from David Gardner and Associates made a presentation to the Planning Commission for this 2-lot subdivision on 2.4 acres of land. The road will be extended on Ship St. to make a Cul-de-Sac. There will be very few trees removed. Commissioner Hubbard asked about ownership of the road and a maintenance agreement. This is required and will be provided at the Final approval stage. A public hearing will be scheduled. A motion was made by Commissioner Calabretta and seconded by Commissioner Girard to approve the Preliminary Review and set the public hearing for October 2, 2002. So unanimously voted.
Commissioner Lambert gave a brief synopsis of the history of the underground utility issue and the Downtown Improvement Project. Commissioners Girard and Schnack stated that they would like to move forward with the Downtown Improvement Project without delays. Commissioner Kallfelz stated that underground utilities is a separate issue from the Downtown Improvement Project and that we need to develop a plan for undergrounding for the whole Town over the next several years for the future. He said that there may be money available for this on the state level. Commissioner Girard made a motion to form a sub-committee to prepare a report on the feasibility of underground utilities in Jamestown. Commissioner Barker seconded the motion. So unanimously voted. Commissioner Kallfelz stated the report is for the purpose of educating the Planning Commission on the issues, outlining the planning process to prepare an island wide plan for underground utilities, estimate cost, detail the options for the community, and report on what other communities have done to accomplish their goal of undergrounding. The Planning Commission stated very clearly that they want underground utilities to be separate and apart from the Downtown Improvement Project and that the whole town needs to be addressed with priorities areas for undergrounding. Commissioners Kallfelz, Brennan, and Brown have volunteered for the committee.
VI. New Business (continued)
2. Planning Commission Attendance
The attendance of the Planning Commissioners was put on the agenda because in recent months there have been a few occasions where there was barely a quorum. The Town Planner Lisa Bryer asked that the Commissioners call the office to let us know if they will not be attending the meeting.
A motion to adjourn at 9:25 p.m. was made by Commissioner Girard and seconded by Commissioner Barker. So unanimously voted.
Cinthia Reppe This meeting was recorded on 1 micro cassette