WESTERLY — After receiving approval for a special use permit by the Zoning Board of Review, a proposed condominium project located off East Avenue can now move to the Planning Board for the next round of land use review.
The zoning board voted unanimously during a meeting Thursday to issue the permit sought by Douglas Enterprises for a proposed development consisting of 20 two-bedroom condominium units in 10 duplex-style buildings on a 7-acre site at 165 East Ave.
A few board members said they remained somewhat concerned about the development's impact on traffic in the neighborhood, but not enough to deny approval of the permit. Walter Pawelkiewicz, the board's chairman, praised the developer for responding to earlier concerns.
"I'm in favor and would like to commend the developer, Mr. Desimone and the staff for listening to their neighbors and the public and accommodating, whenever possible, what their requests were. I think it's exemplary," Pawelkiewicz said.
He was referring to Douglas Desimone, owner of Douglas Enterprises, who agreed to scale down his original plans for 26 two-bedroom condominium units in 13 duplex-style buildings after residents of East Avenue raised questions about the density of the project and its effect on traffic.
A traffic expert testified during the board's hearing on Thursday that the project would have a minimal effect on traffic in the area.
"There is no significant impact as far as delays that could occur," said John Shevlin, traffic engineer and senior vice president for Pare Corporation, a regional firm with offices in Cranston.
Pare conducted a two-part traffic study that included an analysis of traffic in both the late fall and summer. The summer study was requested by the Planning Board which previously approved the project's master plans. The next round of review by the Planning Board will entail a look at more detailed plans.
No cut vegetative buffers of 50 feet will be maintained on both sides of the development and a 35-foot buffer will be maintained in the rear. John Carter, a landscape architect working as a consultant on the project, said two large trees on the property will also be maintained. Utility lines servicing the development will be placed underground and there will be no street lights. The entrance and exit of the development was shifted to avoid vehicle headlights shining into a residence on the other side of East Avenue.
The project meets standards set out in the town's zoning regulation and the Comprehensive Plan, said Ed Pimental, a Cranston-based land planning consultant hired to work on the project. The development's density is equal to or less than other ones in its vicinity, Pimental said.