WESTERLY — Scaled-back plans for a condominium development proposed for East Avenue are scheduled to go before the Zoning Board of Review this week.
Douglas Enterprises Ltd. of Narragansett is now proposing 20 two-bedroom condominium units in 10 duplex-style buildings on a 7-acre site at 165 East Ave. The town's inclusionary zoning ordinance requires the developer to provide four units that meet affordability guidelines established by the federal and state government. The units are planned for off-site as a means to allow for additional open space in the development, according to the developer's application to the zoning board.
A previous iteration of the plans called for 26 two-bedroom units in 13 buildings, including on-site affordable units.
The Zoning Board of Review is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on the developer's application for a special-use permit during a meeting scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The Planning Board approved the scaled-back master plans for the development, which will be called Harbor Ridge, in May and issued a positive advisory opinion to the zoning board for the special-use permit application.
The original plans were loudly criticized by a group of residents of East Avenue who said the development was too intense for the neighborhood and the size of the property. They also raised questions about potential traffic problems and whether town officials, specifically members of the Town Council, had been provided adequate notice of the proposal. Lawyers for the town said notice requirements set out by state law had been followed.
The new plans call for a single entrance to a private road. The same point will be used to leave the development. A traffic study conducted by Pare Corporation, a regional firm with offices in Lincoln, found the development would not cause a significant addition to traffic in the neighborhood. The firm, at the request of the Planning Board, conducted a second study on a weekend in July to ensure an analysis of the traffic during the busy summer season.
As a condition of its approval of the master plans, the Planning Board stipulated that the developer must pay for a "third-party" engineer to review the next round of plans to go before the Planning Board. The board also stipulated that the developer must retain an engineering firm to perform site inspections regarding erosion control and stormwater management during construction. The inspections are required to occur within 48 hours of storms that generate more than 0.5 inches of rain.
A vacant single-family residence on the property would be torn down as part of the development.