WESTERLY — The owners of an Atlantic Avenue motel plan to spruce their building up with the addition of prefabricated outdoor balconies.
The Planning Board on Tuesday voted 4-2 to send a positive recommendation to the Zoning Board of Review of plans for 24 balconies at the Misquamicut Beach Front Inn at 145 Atlantic Ave. The board also approved accent LED lighting that is planned for the front of balconies that face Atlantic Avenue.
Redzepi Properties Partnership, the owners of the inn, had sought lighting for balconies planned for the ocean side of the building as well, but board members were cool to the idea.
Steven Surdut, the lawyer who represents the Redzepi family, said the balconies would be installed by a licensed contractor under the guidance of an engineer. "Safety is a big component of this and something that is on the applicant's mind," he said.
The 5- by 11-foot balconies will be accessed by new doors that will be constructed in each unit and give guests an opportunity to sit outside. The units are also intended to improve the look of the boxy building.
"Right now it's very angular...we believe this will bring it more into conformity with the surrounding structures," Surdut said.
Board member Christopher Lawlor questioned whether the lights were appropriate for Misquamicut's commercial strip, saying he was concerned about a "Jersey Shore" look. He also questioned the safety of balconies overlooking Atlantic Avenue and said he was concerned that the units could lead to noise problems in the neighborhood.
Lawlor and Jason Parker both voted against the application. Parker, the town's former town planner, questioned the size of the balconies and said he did not like the proposed lighting. Parker also noted several inconsistencies in the application. Surdut attributed the inconsistencies to typographical errors.
Redzepi Properties Partnership will work with Town Planner Rui Almeida to determine the best color of the balconies as well as the manner in which the lights will be attached to the balconies.
The owners must now seek approval of an amendment to the original special use permit they received from the zoning board. That permit allowed construction of the motel, which opened in 2015.
Board members James A. Hall IV, Richard Constantine, Catherine DeNoia and Justin Hopkins voted in favor of a favorable advisory to the zoning board.