PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
  April 3, 1996
  Library
  Public Work Session

Meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm.
The following members were present:
Michael Smith, Chairman
Anthony Travisono
Richard Waters
Betty Hubbard
Thomas Foley 
David Butterfield
Arthur Milot
Lisa Wray Bryer
Mary Brennan

Also in attendance were:
Mark Browning, Town Planner                
Michelle Botelho, Recording Secretary      

See attached list for attendance.

Motion made and seconded to approve minutes of the March 20, 1996 minutes.
      Vote carried 8 to 1.  Commissioner Brennan abstained. 

CORRESPONDENCE
The Chairman requested that all correspondence be put on next meeting's
agenda.

CITIZEN'S NON-AGENDA ITEM
There being no citizen present wishing to speak, board moved to Town
Planner's Report.

TOWN PLANNER'S REPORT
1.   Planner read the following statement:
I intend to require that certain development review applicants submit --
in addition to all other materials -- a letter of endorsement from the
Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners.

The Zoning Ordinance requires that the Planning Commission and/or the Town
Planner apply, as a general standard of approval, that new development be
served with an adequate mean of water supply, sewage disposal, and
drainage (Article 11, Section 1105.1).  I believe that determination is
within the purview of the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners.
      Furthermore, we will meet the requirement in Article 11, Section
1105.1 by relying on an established source in making that consideration. 
It will also save time and effort by having water issues addressed first,
eliminating the review process for projects which would ultimately be
rejected by the Board of Water and Sewer.

I believe that this constitutes an administrative change in the process,
and therefore does not require an amendment to the ordinance.   

2.   Planner indicated that he met with the Technical Review Committee,
they reviewed policies and procedures.
      They are hoping to have a recommendation for the Planning Commission
next meeting.

3.   Planner noted that he had a preliminary meeting with two developers
interested in developing a subdivision off the Cemetery Access road. 

Planner reported that he met with RIDOT officials and toured the
properties the Town & Church Community Housing Corporation will develop
into Affordable Housing.
      He added that they are anticipating to rehab and have a move in
within 6 months.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------  PUBLIC WORK SESSION

The purpose of the work session is to gain further input from the public
and from the Planning Commission, those items are as follows:
1) Plat 9, Lot 201 - zone change from residential to commercial
2) allowing B & B's in R-8 & R-20 zones
3) designation of two Open space districts
4) reconsideration of 15ft setback in R-8 zone
5) consideration of dimensional variances can be reviewed by the Building
Inspector instead of going to the Zoning Board

Chairman stated that he would like to take the items in that order.
      First item is Plat 9, Lot 201, like to hear from those who are
opposed.

1)  Plat 9, Lot 201 - Hammett Court
Bob Barber, 24 Clinton Avenue:  I'm a major abutter to the proposed lot;
there have been petitions sent to council; I do not see the value of the
change to the town; I do not understand 
why it is being proposed as a change; a change would decreased the value
of abutting properties.

Commissioner Waters:  I would like to settle the problem once and for all;
at least every three years they come back requesting zone change; I like
to offer a solution; property name Hammett Court, he defined the word
"court"; discussed the John Hammond family; this piece of property seems
to be useless as far as business is concerned; like Mr. Holland to offer
this to the Conanicut Land Trust and that way he becomes a benefactor to
the community and gets tax relief from the IRS; this would get it off our
books and out of the way once and for all.

John Murphy:  Here on behalf of Edward & Sharon Holland owners of the
Hammett Court property;  I am going to try get Mr. Waters to retract that
proposal but I think the record will reflect that at least one
commissioner made a proposal before hearing our evidence which is contrary
to the proposal forwarded by the Planning Commission to the council last
time;  you have not heard an issue be before the Town Council and Planning
Commission as many time s as this one; you recommend to the council that
all lot 201 be zone commercial downtown the council in it's wisdom sent
back to you to reconsider; the council wants the Planning Commission  to
consider whether or not something was missed the last time it was
consider; I would like to submit to you that several things have been
missed which mitigate in favor of your recommendation; and which make the
premises on the line your recommendation last time even stronger; I know
you have set another night aside to actually deliberate on what you hear
tonight; these materials trace issue back to 1982 when the controversy
over Hammett Court began; Mr. Murphy referred to Mr. Waters proposal from
Hammond Court and noted the property is Hammett Court; this controversy
began when Fred Newman proposed to move a building from property now
occupied by Baker's pharmacy to Clinton Avenue; Mr. Newman received
several building permits from previous inspector; the earliest one January
of 1982 in which the lot next to Mr. Barber's property then designated lot
708 was described by Mr. Dowling as a commercial downtown lot, that is the
extreme southern boundary of the lumberyard property; Mr. Dowling put CD
on permit and approved it; there was a subsequent permit with the same
type of designation as lot 708, that occurred 1986; in 1982 a zoning map
was published in the Newport Daily News for the revised zoning ordinance
indicate that Hammett Court was within the Commercial Downtown; the Town
Engineer affixed to the official zoning map that lot 201 was in commercial
zone; a letter included in packet stating that the Tax Assessor had been
taxing as commercial property; my client wants to put before you an
accommodation; the controversy is whether or not a small section of lot
201 will be commercial downtown or R-8 were are asking that it should be
commercial downtown however we are willing to agree that so there can be a
buffer and agree that it will be setbacks in R-8 zone and that would
permit the Holland's to have use of there property that they pay
commercial downtown taxes on and Mr. Barber will have 7ft setback that the
 R-8 zone provides; willing to create that in perpetuity, forever, by
donating that property to Conservation easement, Land Trust; we would ask
that you adhere to prior recommendations, recommend CD and invite to add
that the current owner of the property grant that perpetual easement.
      Thank You.

Bob Barber:  Has any of the Commissioners viewed the property in last
three months?  Commissioner Smith stated that he viewed it this afternoon.
      Mr. Barber added that a commercial use is taking place there now.

2) Allowing Bed & Breakfast in R-8 & R-20 zones 
Commissioner Smith:  Originally, B & B's were allowed in all zones and
during late 80's the council amended the zoning ordinance to allow only in
commercial districts; during the two year study the commission decided to
allow in all zones, but this was over reaching, so the council has asked
us to review again; those who would like to  speak in opposition followed
by those in favor.
      The council is specifically asking that we restrict to R-8 and R-20
zones.

Paul Levesque, 37 Coronodo:  Do you  know how many  properties are
effected by the 30,000sq ft.?  Commissioner Smith:  It was a large #; that
indicated to me that it was not a good filter; it was not a sufficient
filter; in the neighborhood of 70 lots, who had a potential to apply for
this.
      Mr. Levesque:  If you are going to intrude into my neighborhood why
not intrude \on the people pushing this; if you are going to be intrusive
int one area be intrusive into everyone's area; I think the majority would
not want it.

Donald Richardson, 12 Davis Street:  You forgot to mention Shoreby Hill;
my wife and I are opposed to B & B 's just like the people on Shoreby
Hill; I can't understand why people come to Jamestown and get on these
committees and first thing they want to do is change Jamestown; I don;t
understand why people want to change what we already have; we hate to see
any more commercialism, since we built our house we seen low income
housing, sewer treatment plant; I like Jamestown the way it is; B & B's
are not going to help the situation; I'm opposed to Bed and Breakfast in
Jamestown, anywhere.

Fred Clarke, 146 Longfellow Road:  As much as I honor attorney's Murphy
efforts to make an exception for Shoreby Hill where I reside; I not sure
that an exemption proposal for Shoreby hill would stand the test of court;
I just am concern with the exemption Mr. Murphy has proposed.

Bill Carl,  7 Valley Road:  I would like to understand the process, I
thought the Town Council made recommendation.
      Commissioner Smith explained the process.

Craig Amerigian, 194 Narragansett Avenue:  In all hearings that we had on
this issue the only people who've spoken in favor of this, is one party
Mr. Murphy represents and some restaurant owners none of whom live in
zones that would be effected by this and a few B & B's owners; most people
have spoken against this and are residents of the town; I as a resident
purchased my home in an  R-20 zone thinking it was zoned residential; I
would like to stay that way; at a previous meeting you comment R-8 & R-20
were transitional zones.
      Mr. Amerigian read the definition CL.  I see this as an intrusion of
single out of our neighbor; nothing to do with principle; Mr. Murphy has
offered this proposal because he has looked at would stood up at meetings;
in Comprehensive Plan states integrity of neighborhoods and rural
character; I see allowing B & B's in residential neighborhood because they
desire by some business owners a clear example of anticipated revenues of
pushing the intrusion into my neighborhood; I don't think it's right.

Mercer Garnett, Longfellow Road:  I like to support everything that has
been said in opposition to this; I think even though in Shoreby Hill were
I live we have deed restrictions they may never stand up in court; I think
most of here that live in R-8 & R-20 are seriously opposed to the idea of
B & B's in our neighborhood; for reasons like:  more cars parked, our
streets are narrow; additional noise of weekenders; I think you ought ask
people to say aye or nay.

Dwight Dickinson, 314 Highland Drive:  I associate myself with the
majority of the speakers.

John Parson, 25 Ledge Road:  I don't see why one proposal was  limited to
commercial downtown area; I don't see why the need for that change away
from that to R-8 & R-20 areas; I very much against it.

Paul Levesque:  If someone does B & B under current zoning, and wasn't in
commercial district wouldn't they have to apply for special exemption? 
Dick Allphin:  If something is prohibited which B & B's are now; I believe
you can come before Zoning Board an ask for a special use permit even
though it's prohibited; If someone comes before the Building Official now
he says don't bother; It my belief the person could probably ignore his
advice and come before Zoning Board; I can't see voting for approval of
that.  

Craig Amerigian:  If a person approach Zoning Board with 20,000ft lot and
wanted to open a B & B, what the situation in that case?  Commissioner
Smith:  Certain uses are allowed, prohibited, allowed by special
exemption; if prohibited supposedly never get votes from Zoning Board; If
allowed by special exemption still have to get 3 votes; there is a whole
list of requirements that need to be met, off-street parking; basically if
not allowed by special exception your probably wasting your time and your
money.

John Murphy:  On behalf of Jack & Mary Brittain, there property on
Conanicus Avenue across from golf course; Alot has been said since the
Planning Commission recommended B & B's be allowed in all zones; You
probably are shell shocked as a recipient, and may be rethinking your
position; I would suggested thoughtful contemplation be placed on
principle not on emotion or fear; I would urge to decide this matter again
in asking your recommendation to council; on merits; what are the
principles upon which you should decide it:  Good planning principles, and
what is good for Jamestown; This issue will never have a constituency; I
like to address Fred Clarke & Mr. Garnett's issue; I do not want the Town
Council to adopt any expansion of the B & B permit that would cause it to
violate a deed restriction or plat restriction; unless the council through
own attorneys get opinion that is sound legally I would urge the council
not to adopt it because I don't want my clients who live in those areas to
be subject to something that they have a contractual a right to expect;
1982 B & B's were allowed in every district and there was never one
created in Shoreby Hill or a place that has a deed restriction; I'm asking
the council to say in the ordinance that the rights under ordinance would
violate one of those contracts; If the attorney for the town doesn't say
that  that's valid legally then they can scrap it as far as I'm concerned.

I like to respond to some comments made tonight; anybody who focus on
personality of his opponent usually doesn't know the subject matter he
discussing; Theses are some of the uses permitted in R-8 & R-20 zone by
special use permit:  multi-family 3-12 units,  multi-family 12+, Nursing
Homes & Rest Homes, Commercial ship & boat storage & repair, Yacht & Beach
Clubs, Beach cabana's & Bathhouses permitted without any zoning relief
whatsoever in R-8 & R-20; Community residence, Halfway House, Family
Daycare, Municipal parking, Non-commercial boat & ship storage, Public
utility structures, and Customary Home occupation; we already have in R-8
& R-20 the type of transitional zone described; if you take all of the
filters in place the 25 criteria (hurdles) to have a B & B you have to be
motivated; Have to have suitable property; it not something someone gets
into lightly and it's hard work; You can rent your house for the week
without any permit;  B & B have the owner sleeping under their roof, they
use less water then a home, they don't put kids into schools; all there
gonna have is one person who wants to work hard at it; It's up to you and
the council to decide.

Dick Allphin:  Just a point; to overrule a ruling of the building Official
takes 3 of the 5 votes; to approve a variances or special easements  

3) Designation of two Open Space districts                
Chris Powell and Mary Hutchinson presented the proposal for two Open Space
districts proposed by the Conservation Commission.
      Ms. Hutchinson noted that the OSI district would incorporate land
that is preserved and environmental sensitive.
      Also, land located in the watershed.
      This district would be for passive recreation.
      OSII district would include active recreation uses such as,
ballfields, Rv camping, tennis courts, etc.
      A copy of the proposed districts is attached.
      There was limited discussion on whether a third district should be
created to categorize the land that would not fall under either district.
      Ms. Hutchinson requested that the Planning Commission define the
following:  Aquaculture, Non-commercial ship\boat storage, off street
parking (accessory), Marine supplies, bait & accessories, and also, under
Industrial Non-manufacting including 3.1 #10 - Storage or Transfer Fishery
equipment to include Aquaculture.
      It was requested that the Planning Commission & Conservation
Commission would meet to discuss open space districts.
      Commissioner Waters suggested that the two be called open space and
recreation areas.
      Mr. Powell said he would rather see that in the definition.  

Jerry Bay, 27 Newport St:  Is the Fort Wetherill area OSI?  Chris Powell: 
Fort Wetherill has been divided into two areas, most of the park is OSI
and the boat basin OSII (active recreation facility).
      OSI is the strictest since of what you would consider open space.
         
    
Commissioner Smith:  What about public ROWS other than identified by CRMC,
extension of Weeden's Lane goes to South Pond.
      Chris Powell:  Planning Commission can chose to add what they want
to; what we did was added ROWS that CRMC has surveyed and designation as
official legal ROWS; if the town has others that we own, we can add those.
      Some discussion followed addressing particular parcels.

Commissioner Smith asked that Mr. Hubbard explain why the Nature
Conservancy should be contacted regarding Plat 7, Lot 28.
       Jack Hubbard:  Representing the Land Trust, Plat 7, Lot 28 (Arruda
property) now purchased by the Nature Conservancy with the intent of
growing feed to maintain the viability of the Dutra Farm when lost land to
the cross island connector; the conservancy has leased the upper half to
Joe Dutra so that he could raise feed and make his farm more viable; if
were to go into OSI then agriculture would not be and work against open
space, it would reduce viability of Dutra Farm; we feel the commission
should consult with conservacy to see if that intent is still there.
      Commissioner Smith:  Basically, like to keep that parcel OSII or the
least restricted.
      Jack Hubbard:  Should be OSII or the other half to permit it to help
Dutra Farm to be viable.
      Chris Powell stated that this is an instant where two designations
on one lot.
      Mr. Hubbard offered to consult the Nature conservancy on this issue.
 Mr. Hubbard stated that the State he great interest in Beavertail & Fort
Wetherill and would be good to talk with them so they understand the
implications and have a chance to make input to the rezoning.
      Mr. hubbard stated that we area in general support of two level
zoning of open space.  
         
4)  Reconsideration of 15 ft. setback in R-8 zone
Commissioner Smith:  Historically the setback in R-8 zone are much closer
to the road then others are; Planning Commission recommended to council a
15ft setback in R-8 zone; would like to salvage that 15 ft.
     setback and some other restrictions on it.

Dick Allphin:  Speaking for the Zoning Board; my point is that the easy
thing to do is go back to 30ft; one of most common things before the board
is to have a variance for a setback less than requirement; put it back to
30ft, it's not gonna cause anybody any problems; still will be able to
make variance that suit the Town which is the charter of the Zoning
Ordinance; change R-8 setbacks back to 30ft.

5) Administrative Variance
Commissioner Smith:  Sometimes there are minor variances that are
requested by the property owner; the Building Inspector could have the
authority to grant a administrative variance but if we grant this the
Zoning Board would be giving up some of their powers; we have asked the
Zoning Board, Zoning Officer, and Planner and would like input of property
owners; Do you think it's wise for your abutter to be allowed to go the
Building Inspector and apply for an administrative variance which he could
grant; right know it requires a forma; application to the Zoning Board.
      Dick Allphin:  I believe the proposal is that there has to be
advertising and no abutters that object.
      Planner:  That is correct; exactly the same process the Zoning
Official would do the review; it my understanding that if it does not
exceed 25%variances from dimensional requirements.
      Commissioner Brennan:  How would one object if one unless one was
present at the meeting?  Dick Allphin:  Mailing cover 200ft perimeter; you
would go to Building Official and says you object and he can not approve
it.  Planner:  Or by writing; if there is one abutter that objects to the
proposal it then goes through the standard procedure of the Zoning Board.
      John Murphy:  I would like to support Dick Allphin's proposal; this
is allowed by state law.
      Mary Hutchinson:  Does dimensional variances include height?  Dick
Allphin:  Don't know how that worded; personally, as member I wouldn't
care if it excluded height; don't remember granting a height variance; I
be in favor of leaving height out of it frankly.
      Planner:  To answer Ms. Hutchinson question it does include building
height in addition to minimum lot size, frontage, lot coverage and
setbacks.                     

Commissioner Smith read James Donnelly's letter into the record.

6) Underground Storage Tanks  
Dick Allphin:  Presently, underground tanks are allowed by special use
permit in the commercial areas and prohibited in all other areas; a case
came before us a month ago to bury large propane tank upper east side; the
board 5 to 0 to allow; I voted for that; propane is not regulated by DEM;
propane is not consider dangerous; the board approved a prohibited use; if
there is a chance to approve one again I would like to zoning change so we
can approve; I would suggest do not change gasoline and fuel oil; Make
propane a special use permit in all areas; would still have to come before
Zoning Board.
      Commissioner Hubbard:  What was the use on East Shore.
      Dick Allphin:  It was for heating.  

Planning Commission stated that they will consider what they have heard
tonight and deliberate at the April 17th meeting and forward
recommendation to the Town Council.

The Commission requested that the Planner check into the state regulations
from the Fire marshall office regarding underground storage tanks.

The Motion was made and seconded to adjourn meeting at 10:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

 Michelle Botelho