Gaffett proposal for Ebbets Hollow postponed (again)
A public hearing to create a new right of way on property owned by Lewis and Nathaniel Gaffett at Ebbetts Hollow (located just off High Street) was postponed once again because an incomplete site plan had been submitted to the Planning Board.
The discussion on the proposal had already been delayed once, from the previous meeting, and despite some attempts by the attorneys involved to continue presenting to the Planning Board, board attorney Donald Packer said that arguments from the previous meeting were being “rehashed” and he advised the board that they could listen to the “same old song and dance” but that he needed “a clean plan. We deliberately postponed so we could get a plan.”
William Landry, the attorney for the Gaffetts, presented a new site plan to the board at the beginning of the hearing. Landry called the proposal to create a new right-of-way on lot 68-6 in Ebbetts Hollow “a benign request to the board. We’re not creating a new lot, we’re not changing a lot line and we’re not creating a non-conforming lot. We’re abandoning one right-of-way for another.”
Landry explained that a 40-foot right-of-way that currently exists into lot 68-6 will be abandoned and a new one created. The Gaffetts have received R.I. Department of Environmental Management approval to develop lot 68-6, and if the Planning Board eventually does approve the new right-of-way, the owners will not have to appear before any other town boards in order to build, according to what some Planning Board members said at the meeting.
Attorney Barry Kusinitz, representing one of the abutters, said the board “can’t abandon a roadway that we have a right to use. The R.I. State Supreme Court said that, we didn’t say that.” Kusinitz said that the road the Gaffetts were now asking to have abandoned was approved by Lew Gaffett 32 years ago. “He’s trying to revisit what he did 32 years ago to make a property more valuable,” Kusinitz said.
Packer mentioned several times during these presentations that the plan was inadequate.
The hearing was postponed until the next Planning Board meeting on Nov. 13.
In other business, a hearing to build a shed and to extend an existing fence at the Block Island Learning Center (plat 6, lot 90) was continued to the Nov. 13 meeting.
The application by the estate of Lee S. Cushman (play 8, lots 49 and 50) was decided to be a major modification. The board was asked to consider whether the modifications were major or minor and, given the decision, the board asked the applicants to refile.
The application for an administrative subdivision off Cooneymus Road owned by Warden’s Pond of Block Island, LLC and Block Island Holdings, LLC (lots 14-1 and 14-2) received unanimous approval by the board.