PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
The meeting was called to order at and the following members were present:
Victor Calabretta Betty Hubbard
Macgregor Brown Barry
Lisa Bryer, AICP – Town Planner
Cinthia Reppe – Recording Clerk
Michael Gray – Town Engineer
John Lawless – PE – Whale Rock Engineering
William Smith – PE – Civil Engineering Concepts Inc.
I. Approval of
A motion was made by Commissioner Holland and seconded by Commissioner Brown to accept the minutes as written. So unanimously voted.
1. DEM – David
Thurston 181 Lloyd Rd. Saunderstown, RI – requesting permit to alter freshwater
wetlands 750 ft. northeast of the intersection of
2. FYI – Memo and changes to High groundwater table ordinance sent to the Town Council. Received
III. Citizen’s Non Agenda Item – nothing at this time
1. Town Planner’s Report
Town Planner Lisa Bryer reported the Town Council set the hearing for the High Groundwater table ordinance for April 6th at This will be on a regular Planning Commission meeting night so the April 20th meeting will have applications. Ms. Bryer also reported that Manning submitted the information to Dr. Urish to late to be on the agenda for this meeting. They will be on the meeting for March 16th.
Mike Gray forwarded a copy of models for the Stormwater Control Ordinance. Discharge Ordinances need to be adopted by next year.
2. Chairpersons report
3. Town Committees
c. Buildings and Facilities
Building and Facilities will be meeting in a few weeks reported Lisa Bryer.
4. Sub Committees
V. Old Business
A motion was made by Commissioner Calabretta that was seconded by Commissioner Holland to extend the Master Plan review period to the 20th of March. So unanimously voted.
VI. New Business
Gadoury – Plat 14 Lot 394,
John Lawless is the engineer representing the applicant Tom Gadoury. This application falls into sub district A. He explained why this is in sub-district A. Mr. Gadoury lives in the existing house which is a 1 bedroom, he wants to demolish the existing house and build a new dwelling with 2 bedrooms. To minimize site disturbances, the proposed footprint will be the same as it is now. It is now 10.8% lot coverage and it will remain the same after development.
The new septic system, an advantex system will replace the existing conventional one. Commissioner Brown asked if a 2 bedroom system is put in can the planning commission request it to be put on the deed? The Planner stated that restrictions on ISDS are placed by DEM.
Commissioner Holland stated the proposed plan with the crushed stone driveway actually makes it better for stormwater runoff, and he wanted clarification that the proposal going forward to the Town Council says this will not be allowed. That is not correct. Commissioner Calabretta said this will be a betterment for the property and will be allowed. This is maintaining the existing flow in fact it is reducing it.
Commissioner Hubbard questioned the plans appearing to show 2 garage openings but only one can be approached or the well will be traveled over. The well will not be moving. Commissioner Calabretta stated the technicalities should be addressed. There are to many disclaimers on these plans Commissioner Calabretta stated. What we see in the plans is what the town wants. The foundation needs to be what is stated. Recommend approval as shown on plans and drawings. Commissioner Calabretta asked where did the contours come from? Contours were surveyed because it is a requirement for the ISDS approval, it’s the property boundaries that were not. Commissioner Calabretta asked is there some way that we can make sure there is not a loophole? The note refers to the property boundries and that is all, add to the note that it refers to the property boundaries. Commissioner Calabretta asked, is the pipe designed so it will not disturb the contours? Mr. Lawless stated the contours were looked at before the design was completed.
The Planning Commission discussed approval, conditional upon the following data being provided. This can be done administratively.
A motion was made by Commissioner Holland and seconded by Commissioner Brown to recommend to the Zoning Board approval of the site plan contingent upon the following 4 items to be received, reviewed and approved by the Planning office:
Revision to driveway
Receipt of ISDS cross section for file
Revision of the note on sheet S6 referring to property boundaries.
There will be an appropriate cover on the well since the driveway will be on top of it.
So unanimously voted.
2. John DiSandro – Plat 5, Lot 136, Beacon Ave - Zoning Ordinance Section 314 - High Ground water table/ Impervious Layer Overlay district - Sub-District B review – Section 308 variance recommendation to Zoning Board – setback to freshwater wetlands
William Smith, Engineer from Civil Engineering Concepts in
A biologist looked at the property early on; there is a wetland 105 feet from the septic system. They stayed 100 feet away from the other wells.
The subsurface recharge area is in the driveway. Extensive soil testing on property showed no impervious layers encountered. Commissioner Hubbard has great concerns, why so much fill? 80% of the lot will be filled. They are trying to level the lot off. You are creating some flow problems that do not need to be there. Mr. Smith stated we are attempting to make it less. Commissioner Calabretta asked the Engineer to explain how the sheet flow will go with proposed grading, because it currently flows across the site unobstructed through vegetation. Commissioner Calabretta stated the house is going to serve as a dam, it will go around the house and be channelized on either side. Commissioner Calabretta went through a scenario that explained how it would go more directly into the wetlands and have an impact. Mr. Smith said they can introduce a slight swale and level spreader on the west side of the property and stated he felt that may address the issue. He feels it is a very small watershed. Commissioner Brown stated fill has been counter productive, it exacerbates the problem for everyone around the lot. Mr. Smith stated they can eliminate a substantial amount of fill. The change of the flow then has impact on everybody down stream. -
Commissioner Calabretta asked if they have considered putting the house on piers? He suggested they re-visit this to protect the groundwater. Commissioner Calabretta stated we are charged with protecting the groundwater and wetlands, let the groundwater flow, if the house were on piers then he wouldn’t have an issue with the setback to the freshwater wetlands.
Commissioner Holland questioned the dimensions of the house being 20x50, 1000 sq ft. of footprint.
Mr. Smith the engineer will go back and address these issues and re submit.
A motion to adjourn the meeting at was made by Commissioner Holland and seconded by Commissioner Brown. So unanimously voted.
Cinthia Reppe This meeting was recorded on 1 micro-cassette