PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES
  April 17, 1996
  Community Center
  Public Work Session

Meeting was called to order at 7:56 pm.
The following members were present:
Michael Smith, Chairman
David Butterfield, Vice Chairman
Richard Waters
Betty Hubbard
Thomas Foley 
Arthur Milot
Lisa Wray Bryer
Mary Brennan

Also in attendance were:
Mark Browning, Town Planner  
Michelle Botelho, Recording Secretary      
James Donnelly, Town Solicitor
Alex Walsh, Attorney for Ft. Wetherill Neighbors
Bob Barber, citizen
Craig Amerigian, citizen
Mary Largess, citizen
John Murphy, citizen
Lorraine Cook, citizen
Richard Allphin, citizen
Arthur Christman, citizen
Andy Wycker, citizen
Quentin Warner, citizen
Bert Brodin, citizen
Dick Hutchinson, citizen
Paul Levesque, citizen
Donald Richardson, citizen
Mercer Garnett,  citizen
Mary Brittain, citizen
Stephanie Amerigian, citizen
Chris Powell, citizen
Lisa Lawless, citizen
Jerry Cook, citizen
               

Commissioner Smith:  Since last meeting my conduct has been called into
question by members of the Planning Board; it is the desire the majority
of the board that I do not chair this meeting; however; the items they are
questioning have not been resolved, so I am going to recuse myself from
discussing the issues of Bed & Breakfast and Hammett Court; at the
conclusion of this meeting we will schedule and executive session to clear
up these matters and at that point make statements for the press.
      At this time Commissioner Smith turn chair over to Commissioner
Butterfield.  Roll was called.

Commissioner Waters asked that Commissioner Smith recuse himself from
whole meeting and turn chair over to Vice Chair, Commissioner Butterfield.
      Commissioner Smith:  I will not recuse myself from whole meeting; I
will recuse myself from the item of B & B and Hammett Court; I reserve my
right to not recuse myself from those issues in the future.
      He stated that he would turn over the chair tonight and recuse
himself only from those issues tonight.  
Commissioner Waters asked for a second to the Motion.
     Commissioner Milot seconded the vote to ask Commissioner Smith's
recusal from whole meeting.
      Commissioner Smith stated that he has turn chair over for meeting
and recused himself from voting on two issues.
      Commissioner Milot withdrew his second.

Motion made Commissioner Hubbard and seconded by Commissioner Brennan to
place all other agenda items with the exception of CDBG application on May
1st agenda.  Vote carried 8 to 0.             
Commissioner Butterfield asked anyone that did not get to speak at the
last hearing to come forward at this time.

The Board will hearing comment from the public on the following issues:
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

1)  Plat 9, Lot 201 - Hammett Court
Planner clarified that the proposal is to zone the entire commercial.

John Murphy:  Lot 201 is the only lot in Jamestown that has two zoning
districts within its confined; a small portion is R-8; the majority is CD.

The Chairman called on anyone in favor or opposition who hasn't spoke
before.
      Opened up discussion.
      Then called on anyone who has previously spoken.

Craig Amerigian and Bob Barber spoke in opposition to this zone change.

Commissioner Butterfield read aloud the two proposed motions.
2)  Bed & Breakfast
Commissioner Butterfield read aloud proposed motions.
      He took comments in favor.

Mary Largess:  In live in R-20 zone and I don't have any personal feeling
on this; general statement, I noticed over the years when summer comes and
people to Weddings or business their at a loss and need a place to stay;
great need in this town and doesn't really hurt anybody if you follow
these restrictions.

Lorraine Cook:  I do have a personal interest in that we are approaching
and age when need to think about options; big house that would make a good
B & B; one of the options we like to have at our disposal; unfortunately
our lot is 29,500 sq.
     ft.
     and plenty of space for parking;  I would like to suggest you amend
your proposal to include a lot of that size; if we decided to subdivided
our lot we could have three houses on the lot and that would impact the
neighborhood a good deal more.  

Dick Allphin pointed out the if such a change were made to allow variances
of lot this size it would not be unusual for the Zoning Board to grant
variance.  

Art Christman:  I am in favor.
     Also, speaking as State Fire Marshall he noted that this is an
expense process.

Jerry Cook:  Spoke in favor; you have an more controlled situation with a
B & B, rather than renting to a group every weekend.   

John Murphy:  I have spoken on this issue before; tonight there was a
brief memorandum that effects this issue and Hammett Court.
      Mr. Murphy ask this be included in the record.
 
Commissioner Foley:  Arthur, as a member of the fire department would you
say it's a matter of public safety to have something like this.
      Art Christman:  Speaking as State Fire Marshall; all I'm saying is
no; I'm all for B & B's, there's just alot of expense involved; he listed
the requirements.

Commission heard from the opposition.

Mr. Andy Wycker and Quentin Warner both spoke in opposition.  Mr. Wynker
felt that people should go to Newport for lodging.
      Mr. Warner expressed concerns of water usage and impact on the water
system.

Bert Brodin:  I have one central issue; Creeping Commercialism; serious
problem because of the limited commercial area; I think the Planning Board
has to careful realize that voting on a motion to expand commercial
activity in residential zones is expanding beyond what the residents want.
      Dick Hutchinson seconded Mr. Brodin's comments.

Dick Allphin:  Just a point; B & B use to be allowed be right; it's not
something that has never happened before; that was change 6 years ago.

Craig Amerigian:  I agree too with Mr. Brodin; looking at that map I am
truly shocked with the amount of 30,000 sq.
     ft.
     lots; never dreamed it would cover that much of an area; nothing in
definition of R zones that indicate in anyway that it's acceptable in have
commercial activity in R-8 & R-20 zones; people in R-8 & R-20 live on
small lots; no reason why should have to put up with in our neighborhoods.

Paul Levesque:  I'm total against B & B; there are 70+ lots potential;
probably alot more if allowance was smaller; we already have illegal B &
B's the town should be able to regulate. 

Andy Wycker:  How does deed restriction work?  James Donnelly:  Runs with
the land.

Donald Richardson:  I against B & B; I agree with everyone that has spoke
against; I don't want to see anymore commercialism creeping into my area.

There was a brief discussion on deed restrictions and why the proposal
only targets specific areas.
                                 
Mercer Garnett:  Strongly opposed to B & B's in any residential district.

Mr. Wycker asked if a color map was published in the paper.  The
Commission replied no.

Commissioner Butterfield stated that this was a public workshop and
recommendations will be fowarded to the Town Council.
      The Council will publish any changes at that time.

Mary Brittain spoke in favor of B & B's.
      Ms. Brittain:  I'm asking the Town Council to make it right and fair
for everybody.

Craig & Stephanie Amerigian spoke in opposition to this issue.

John Murphy:  I think that some of the testimony you heard tonight
demonstrates the frailty of having a hearing over multiple evenings; I
would like to ask you in your deliberations tonight to refer to the
memorandums I filed on behalf my clients;  the issue of the nonexclusive
residential definition and uses that are permitted in R-8 & R-20 are
clearly laid out; the issue of B & B regulations are laid out; it is clear
from the comments heard from Arthur Christman, the fire marshall, and all
the other hurdles and filters that will be built into this ordinance that
there won't be B & B's in this town; I stand by the comment I made at last
hearing that if the ordinance as presented to the Planning Commission and
ultimately to the Council can be shown by legal counsel's opinion to
something that unforceable, then we don't want it.

3)  Open Space
Commissioner Butterfield read the proposed motions into the record.
Mary Hutchinson and Chris Powell representing the Conservation Commission
both spoke in favor of this proposal.
      Chris Powell explained that one open space district is active and
the other is passive.    

Commissioner Waters stated that he felt is certain amount of open space
should be common open space.

Alex Walsh spoke in favor of proposal.

4)  R-8 zone setbacks
Commissioner Butterfield read the proposed motions.

Lisa Lawless spoke in favor of keeping the setback at 30ft.

Dick Hutchinson questioned the change.
      Commissioner Smith explained that this proposal is to move accessory
structures to the rear of the main structure.
      It would also move the off street parking more towards the back.    

Dick Allphin:  Since last hearing I became aware that there might be
misunderstanding by the Planning Board that the Zoning Board is in favor
of this in any way, that is the present plan of 30ft.
     to 15ft.; complete misunderstanding.   Discussed a situation in which
this applied.  In favor of first motion, back to 30ft.

Dick Hutchinson recommended the setback return to 30ft.

5)  Administrative Variance
Commissioner Butterfield read proposed motions.

The Planner and Town Solicitor discussed and explained the purpose of this
amendment.

Mr. Allphin stated he was in favor of removing height.

6)  Underground Storage Tanks
Commissioner Butterfield read the motions into the record and ask for
those who would like to speak.

Art Christman:  Putting propane outside is better than underground
storage; underground, may ignite; Should have a leak detector underground.
      Commissioner Milot expressed a concern for insurance.  

Commissioner Hubbard suggested that this be discussed at another meeting
and Commissioner Bryer agreed.

Dick Allphin:  The way this came up is that a variance was granted to
store a underground tank in a prohibited zone; the Zoning Board does not
want to get into the habit of granting things that are prohibited

Commission voted to hold off on recommendation until discussed further. 

7)  Registered Land Surveyor
Motion made by Commissioner Hubbard and seconded by Commissioner Milot to
discuss "registered land surveyor" at a later date.
      Vote carried 6 to 2.  Commissioner Smith felt that "registered land
surveyor" was a cut and dry issue.

Commissioner Butterfield closed work session for public comment at 9:45pm.
      Moved to receive comment from the Planning Commission.
     Commissioner Foley entertained a motion to table all votes until a
full board was present.
      Commissioners voted 6 to 1 not to table votes.
     The Planning Commission voted on the following issues (see attached
motions and votes).
      Commissioner Travisono's proxy votes were read into the record.
      Commissioner Smith requested that the record show he has recused
himself from the issue of B & B and Hammett Court on a temporary basis.

The Commission directed Planner to include underground storage tanks on
next agenda.

CDBG Application:  The Town of Jamestown is applying for a total of
$250,000 explained the Planner.   The commission reviewed request.

Motion was made by Commissioner Smith and seconded by Commissioner Hubbard
to proceed with submittal of CDBG application.  Vote carried 7 to 1.

Commissioner Butterfield stated that there will be an executive session on
Wednesday, April 24th at the police station to discuss a personnel issue.
      This is a continuation of tonight's hearing.

Motion was made by Commissioner Hubbard and seconded by Commissioner
Brennan to send forward the 5 proposed motions to Town Council.
      Vote carried 7 to 1.

Respectfully Submitted,

Michelle Botelho  

  ATTACHED VOTES AND MOTIONS
  PLANNING COMMISSION
  APRIL 17, 1996

Motion:
that the Planning Commission recommend that the Zoning Ordinance of the
Town of Jamestown not be amended to exceed the boundary of the Commercial
Downtown zoning district to include all of Lot 201, Assessor's Plat 9.

Motion was made in favor of the above motion.  So voted: 4-3
Michael Smith - recuse
David Butterfield - not in favor
Mary Brennan - in favor
Betty Hubbard - in favor
Lisa Bryer - not in favor
Arthur Milot - in favor
Richard Waters - in favor
Thomas Foley - not in favor
Anthony Travisono - absent

Motion:
that the Planning Commission recommend that the Zoning Ordinance of the
Town of Jamestown not be amended to allow bed and breakfast houses in R-8
and R-20 zoning districts.

Motion was made by Commissioner Waters and seconded by Commissioner
Hubbard in favor of the above motion.  So voted: 5-2
Michael Smith - recuse
David Butterfield - in favor
Mary Brennan - in favor
Betty Hubbard - in favor
Lisa Bryer - not in favor
Arthur Milot - in favor
Richard Waters - in favor
Thomas Foley - not in favor
Anthony Travisono - absent

Motion:
that the Planning Commission recommend amending the Zoning Ordinance of
the Town of Jamestown to include in the ordinance the proposal for Open
Space zoning districts developed by the Jamestown Conservation Commission.

Motion was made by Commissioner Smith and seconded by Commissioner Brennan
in favor of the above motion.  So vote:  8-0
Michael Smith  - in favor
David Butterfield - in favor
Mary Brennan - in favor
Betty Hubbard - in favor
Lisa Bryer - in favor
Arthur Milot - in favor
Richard Waters - in favor
Thomas Foley - in favor
Anthony Travisono - absent

Motion:
that the Planning Commission recommend amending the Zoning Ordinance of
the Town of Jamestown by changing the required front setback in the R-8
zone from the current fifteen feet to thirty feet.

Motion was made by Commissioner Smith and seconded by Commissioner Bryer
in favor of the above motion.  So vote:  8-0
Michael Smith - in favor
David Butterfield - in favor
Mary Brennan - in favor
Betty Hubbard - in favor
Lisa Bryer - in favor
Arthur Milot - in favor
Richard Waters - in favor
Thomas Foley - in favor
Anthony Travisono - absent

Motion:
that the Planning Commission recommends amending the Zoning Ordinance of
the Town of Jamestown to allow the Zoning Officer to review and act on
applications for dimensional variances which do not exceed a twenty-five
percent variance from dimensional requirements.
      All other requirements for dimensional variance requests should
remain as currently stated in the Zoning Ordinance.
      In the event any abutter (as defined in Section 503) opposes the
request, the application should be forwarded to the Zoning Board of Review
for a decision.
      The Zoning Officer should have the option to refer requests for
these minor dimensional variances to the Zoning Board of Review.
     Applications for height variances should not be considered by the
Zoning Officer, but rather be referred to the Zoning Board of Review for a
decision.
  
Motion was made by Commissioner Smith and seconded by Commissioner Bryer
to approve the above motion as amended.  So voted:  7-1
Michael Smith - in favor
David Butterfield - in favor
Mary Brennan - in favor
Betty Hubbard - in favor
Lisa Bryer - in favor
Arthur Milot - in favor
Richard Waters - in favor
Thomas Foley - not in favor
Anthony Travisono - absent