Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-04-2020

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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14 LINCOLN JUNE 4-10, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION hill to keep debris out of the water or the road. "As residents, we're concerned that we didn't have the opportunity to share our opinions, or our concerns about this at all," D'Ambra said. Town Planner Al Ranaldi said neigh- bors wouldn't have received notice about the tree work because the project didn't go through zoning. He said the developer, Joshua George, could pull a permit and begin work right away on his first house. Ranaldi said the project is being con- sidered as a minor subdivision because it is fewer than five lots, but said the developer might choose to put up to two duplexes there. If it had been con- sidered a major subdivision, the project would have gone through zoning. Ranaldi said Lincoln does not have an ordinance in place stating that someone can only clear trees where the house will be situated. Though the RIDEM hasn't filed its report after visit- ing the site, Ranaldi said he believes the developer was "within their jurisdiction" and that the slope can play tricks on the eyes. He did say, however, that given the nature of the site, "there should have been soil and erosion control measures put in place" before removing trees. During a Planning Board meeting on a minor subdivision preliminary plan application last Wednesday, May 27, the applicant's attorney John Shekarchi said neighborhood concerns about tree clearing prompted them to tap biolo- gist and natural resource expert Scott Rabideau for input. "It's a very steep slope so the visual of that horizontal plane of the perimeter wetland is almost hard to visualize, but it was staked by a professional survey- or," Rabideau said. If trees had been cleared within the buffer, said Rabideau, he and others would have expected RIDEM to halt work. "If RIDEM fears an encroachment on wetlands, a written cease and desist would have been ordered," he said. He did agree with Ranaldi that "The applicant should have put in erosion controls," and Shekarchi said they were "maybe premature on cutting trees, even if the work was within their pur- view." Planning member Bill Murphy said he'd heard that some trees were cut down on town land. "I went down to the property and it looks like there's a problem there," Murphy said. Shekarshi said he was unaware of that issue, but would make sure that any trees mistakenly taken down are replaced. During the meeting, Town Councilor T.J. Russo also advocated on behalf of concerned residents. He said he and Bruce Ogni have been working with them since they became aware of the tree clearing. When he went out to visit the prop- erty, and said he was shocked. "I wouldn't park my vehicle on that property, let alone build a house on it," he said. Russo said he met a constituent at the site who had measured the stakes from the water's edge. "One was at 31 feet, another at 30, and another at 34 feet," he said. "I want to be able to go back to the constituents and give them a reason why 50 feet isn't 50 feet. Anyone who goes down there can see that the markers are not 50 feet off the water's edge." Rabideau said he met that resident, who used a handheld laser and a stick to take the measurements. "If you look at the submitted plan and elevations, the wetland buffer is at elevation 85, the water level is below 55. They would have needed a 30-foot stick to properly assess that reading," he said. With only one lot approved and three more on the docket, D'Ambra said she fears the safety hazard created in the interim, especially for children who may be tempted by the lack of fences to play on that hill alongside the pond. "Everyone with young kids is concerned about safety over here," D'Ambra said. "I know when I was a kid this would have been tempting," said Christine Robin Payne, who has lived across the street from the pond since 2004. She said she also feels sorry for the wildlife that lives near the pond, including deer, coyote and foxes. "I just don't see the math. The num- bers don't add up," she said, calculating what roughly 50 feet from the water would have looked like if done proper- ly. She pointed to a stake in the ground where the trees begin again, only about 25 feet from the water instead of the required 50. "If they could do this legitimately and follow the rules, fine, but some- thing is off," she said. Planning Board member Gerald Olean asked that the project approval be delayed to next month to give RIDEM more time to issue its report. "With questions for the DEM, I can't see us making a decision today," he said. "Why are we rushing this?" Murphy asked. "That's what I'm wondering." A vote was put off to next month. SCOTT POND From Page One BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Boulevard Avenue resident LINDSAY D'AMBRA and Rep. JACK LYLE look down at the sloping property where a devel- oper plans to build four homes. Neighbors are concerned that trees were cleared inside of the Department of Environmental Management's wetlands buffer zone, a matter that is now under review. FRESH GRADE WHOLE CHICKEN $ 1.49LB. MICHAEL ' S MEATS ' M M A Family Tradition Since 1972 www.Michaels-Meats.com 2130 MENDON ROAD, CUMBERLAND 401-305-5555 Thursday, June 4th - Wednesday, June 10th MICHAEL'S ITALIAN SAUSAGE OR PATTIES $ 4.59LB. Look for updates on our Facebook page s .EW 4EMPORARY (OURS AM PM -ONDAY 3ATURDAY EXTRA LEAN ALL WHITE MEAT GROUND TURKEY $ 4.59LB. FRESH 1LB. PKG. SWEET STRAWBERRIES $ 1.99EA. SWEET SOUTHERN PEACHES $ 1.49LB. FRESH ZUCCHINI OR SUMMER SQUASH 99 ยข LB. NORTH PACIFIC SCROD FILLETS $ 5.99LB. BOAR'S HEAD PREMIUM BACON $ 5.99EA. FRESH SLICED BOAR'S HEAD AMERICAN CHEESE $ 4.88LB. FRESHLY SLICED BOAR'S HEAD BLACKFORREST SMOKED TURKEY BREAST $ 7.99LB. AVG. WT. 3 LBS. 1 LB PKG.

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