The Block Island Times
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Zoning approves Merkler/McAloon subdivision

By Stephanie Turaj | Oct 31, 2013

The Zoning Board has approved a proposal to subdivide a 23-acre property located off Payne Road and Mohegan Trail.

William Merkler and Shannon McAloon applied to subdivide their property (plat 9, lot 58) into six lots. The master plan for subdivision — which was approved by the Planning Board in August — required a special variance from the Zoning Board.

At the Zoning Board’s Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting, board member Claire McElderry made the motion to grant the variance.

“The regulations for a flexible subdivision require 50 percent of the total developable land area of the entire parcel to be set aside for open space. The proposed area set aside, while not meeting 50 percent, meets the intent of the zoning ordinance,” said McElderry. This subdivision protects 21 percent open space, not 50 percent, which is why the variance was needed.

The vote was unanimous. Chair Elizabeth Connor recused herself from the vote.

At this meeting, the board also approved an application for an island homeowner to construct a deck on his Beacon Hill property (plat 18, lot 73). Homeowner Robert Hiza explained that he wants to build the 12-by-24 foot deck to accommodate family parties — the landscaping of the property is too steep in most places to host a proper gathering, he said.

The board held a preliminary review of three applications and set a formal hearing date for the Nov. 25 meeting. The three applications are construction for a detached garage on Southeast Point Road (plat 8, lot 134); construction of a deck on Southeast Point Road (plat 8, lot 40); and conversion of a laundry room to a rental room at the 1661 Inn (plat 7, lots 6 and 7).

Two hearings were continued until the Nov. 25 meeting, both regarding Payne’s Harbor View Inn on Beach Avenue. One matter is an appeal of a notice of violation, and the other is an application for a special use permit. Connor said the Zoning Board is waiting for the Planning Board to make its decision on these issues.

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