WESTERLY — A public hearing before the Zoning Board of Review on plans for a third-floor restaurant at the Sandy Shore Motel will resume in January or February.
The hearing began Wednesday with information from the motel owner, Gene Properties LLC, on its need for a variance from parking regulations, and on its application to amend an existing special use permit that was issued to allow alcohol to be served at a beachside bar on the property. The board agreed to continue the hearing and asked William Nardone, Gene Properties LLC’s lawyer, for additional information on the application. The property is 19 parking spaces short of the 83 required for a 35-room motel, 24-seat bar, and proposed 150-seat restaurant.
The board is also seeking additional information from the Planning Board, which approved master plans for the project in September, on how the project meets provisions of the municipal Comprehensive Plan.
Zoning Officer Nathan Reichert said the public hearing will most likely resume in February to give the Planning Board time to consider the zoning board’s request next month. Reichert said the zoning board is also trying to determine how to assess whether the Sandy Shore qualifies to make use of regulations that allow for elevating existing structures and building new ones above base flood elevation. By regulation the ground level of elevated buildings cannot be considered to be habitable. In the case of the sandy Shore, laundry facilities are on the ground floor.
Gene Arganese, the principal member of Gene Properties, plans an addition that would take advantage of regulations intended to raise shoreline buildings above the flood zone. The regulations allow for the bottommost portion of livable space to begin 16 feet above base flood elevation. In the case of the Sandy Shore, the top of the third floor would be about 50 feet above ground level.