Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-27-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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22 LINCOLN NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 4, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION LINCOLN – Town officials are considering implementing a new ordinance requiring property owners to merge "substandard" lots if they border another lot under the same ownership. A property is considered substan- dard if it does not conform to the town's dimensional or area require- ments. Under the so-called lot merger ordinance, substandard lots that share one or more common bound- aries with another lot under the same ownership would be combined to form a lot of the required minimum dimensions and area for its zoning district, or to decrease the degree of nonconformity where the required dimensions and area cannot be achieved. The ordinance was introduced by Town Councilor Arthur Russo and referred to the Planning Board on Nov. 19 for a recommendation. Since construction on the Lincoln Crossing development began sev- eral years ago off Cobble Hill Road, Russo said residents have been con- cerned with the increase in develop- ment across town. In some neighborhoods includ- ing his own, Russo said residents were seeing small homes pop up in formerly vacant lots. He pointed to Mount Avenue as another example, where a number of small houses have been built. Russo said if someone purchases a property with two separate lots – one with a house and one with a detached garage – they may decide to build a house on the second lot because it's considered a lot of record. "Some small lots have been recent- ly built on that no one really knew existed before," he said. "This ordi- nance will hopefully help prevent a developer from squeezing in a house that doesn't conform to the neighbor- hood or the town's regulations. As it stands, property owners can build on a substandard lot of record without going through the Planning Board. If this ordinance passes, Russo said an owner could still build on a substandard lot, but that they'd need Zoning Board permission first. The intent of the ordinance is to discourage property owners from building on substandard abutting lots without going before any board. If approved, the merger require- ment as it is currently written would apply to all adjacent lots under the same ownership, whether improved or unimproved, except where both lots contain principal structures. "Under the same ownership" would apply to the owner of record and their spouse or parents, children, grandparents or grandchildren, sib- lings blood or adoptive, a trustee or officer of a trust. It would also apply to corporations, limited liability com- panies, partnerships, firms, businesses or entities of which the owner has an interest. Town Administrator Joseph Almond said he expects the ordi- nance would only impact a handful of residents, but Russo said he thinks it may be more. Property owners would be able to appeal for a special use permit, to be issued by the Zoning Board of Review, to escape the requirements of the merger provision. The deci- sion to grant a special use permit would depend on whether the lots, if left unmerged, would be "of a size generally in conformance with the size of developed lots in the immedi- ate vicinity." The Planning Board will offer a recommendation on the ordinance before it returns to the Town Council for final approval. Lincoln ordinance would force merging of substandard lots By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer LINCOLN – A trailer set up at the intersection of Olney Avenue and Lakeview Avenue is collect- ing data for the Lincoln Police Department and town officials that will be used to increase safety mea- sures in that area. The trailer is one of two pur- chased and put into use in Lincoln this year as officials try to limit speeding across town. Once the trailer in Saylesville collects a week's worth of data, it will be moved elsewhere to do the same. Town Councilor Pamela Azar, who leads the Public Safety Committee, said the Bluetooth- powered trailer is currently counting the number of cars that travel through the intersection in a 24-hour period. "This week, in a single day, 1,000 cars had gone by," Azar said. "At one point that street was a dead- end. It was made a continuous road and now we have speed alley." On Monday night, Police Chief Brian Sullivan described to the Town Council how the trailers work. The trailers are connected to com- puters at the town's police station, where officers can review data for each trailer. The trailers can also capture speeding vehicles by snap- ping a photo with the logged speed. Right now, they're only counting cars, but Azar said the radar func- tion on cameras may be implement- ed in the future. Azar said town officials wouldlike- ly install signs and then issue warn- ings before ever moving to ticket offenders. She noted that a speed camera installed on the Pawtucket side of Smithfield Avenue, where drivers receive tickets for speeding, has slowed traffic significantly, even into Lincoln. Azar said residents have expressed concerns about speeding in vari- ous neighborhoods. Breakneck Hill Road is of particular concern to her, as are Albion Road and Route 116. "I'm afraid with the new develop- ment near the Lincoln Mall that traffic will be crazy over there," she said. Azar said officials will be able to review the data by next month, and that the trailer will move to different parts of town throughout next year. According to data obtained by The Valley Breeze through a recent pub- lic records request, the top reason for vehicles being pulled over by Lincoln Police in the first half of the year was speeding. From January to July, 170 driv- ers were stopped for going up to 10 miles per hour over the posted limit, and another 73 were pulled over for speeding 11 miles per hour or more over the posted limit. Lincoln police department collecting data on traffic By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer Conlon elected board member of Providence Revolving Fund PROVIDENCE – Dorene Conlon, of Lincoln, was recently elected as a new board member of The Providence Revolving Fund. Conlon recently retired from Bank of America where she worked for 28 years as a team leader in national commercial real estate and com- munity development lending among other roles. In community development lend- ing, Conlon worked with non-profit and for-profit developers of afford- able and mixed-income housing as well as Main Street commercial properties for which the bank pro- vided construction and permanent financing, or invested in federal or state historic tax credits or new mar- kets tax credits. She previously served on the advisory board and chaired the loan committee for Local Initiative Support Corporation, on the board of The College Crusade of Rhode Island, a steering committee for Homes RI. Conlon graduated from Brown University. Lincoln resident announced as RIAGC board member LINCOLN – James "Bo" Koloski, of Lincoln, director, group leader of Client Development/ Building Division at BOND, has been appointed to serve as designee on the State of Rhode Island Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board per Rhode Island General Law §5-65-14 by Kerrie Bennett, executive director of the Rhode Island Chapter of Associated General Contractors of America (RIAGC). Koloski is based in BOND's Providence office, where he estab- lishes new relationships and rein- forces partnerships within Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut. RIAGC members are dedicated to advanc- ing quality, safety, and technology within the building construction industry. 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