Dead Eye’s begins construction, all over again

For employee housing
Thu, 01/31/2019 - 5:45pm

It’s not often that the framework for a building has to be taken down in the midst of construction, so that the project can be redesigned architecturally and then constructed all over again.

That’s what happened to Jessica Wronowski, owner/operator of Dead Eye Dick’s restaurant in New Harbor, who was granted unanimous approval (5-0) by the Historic District Commission on Monday to move forward with a revised construction plan. Mike Ballard made the motion that was seconded by Mark Vaillancourt. Arlene Tunney was absent from the meeting.

Wronowski was in the process of adding a second floor with six new rooms for employee housing to the existing cottage behind her restaurant this fall when the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council halted her construction. Her contractor had to remove the framework from atop the cottage and cease all construction activity. The cottage contains two apartments on the first floor for managers, while the restaurant building has six rooms on the second floor for employees.

Wronowski obtained the appropriate approvals, including receipt of a building permit after Christmas, for the project, but the CRMC had some issues with the architectural plans. She said the CRMC notified her “two weeks after construction began” that the project’s plans would need to be revised in order for construction to continue.

Laura Dwyer, spokesperson for the CRMC, said, “There was a minimum 50-foot setback, and the applicant would’ve needed a variance. We wouldn’t have supported a variance because the area is susceptible to sea level rise impacts, so the applicant changed her plans to add the addition on the landward side.”

“The CRMC took issue with us building over the water-side deck,” said Wronowski, noting that the structure is in close proximity to the Great Salt Pond. Wronowski said the revised plan submitted to the HDC has been “flipped around” to accommodate the CRMC’s requirement.

“Most noticeably we have to flip the two new stairwells from the back, water-side of the building to the front, parking lot side,” she said. “We also have to pull the dormer on the water side back in-line with the building, thereby making two of the new rooms smaller than we initially planned.”

“It’s too bad” you have to revise your plans, said Vaillancourt. “It looked so much better before.”

“I’m frustrated by the whole situation,” said Glenn Fontecchio, the architect for the project, who noted that the goal is to build much-needed affordable housing for the restaurant’s employees.

HDC Chair Bill Penn lauded Wronowski’s efforts in constructing employee housing on the island. “I commend you for providing housing,” he said.

Other news

The HDC granted unanimous final approval to the Town of New Shoreham, and the Old Harbor Task Force, for restoration of Nicholas Ball Park. The OHTF was required to return with revisions, including relocating the water filling station closer to the sidewalk and designating the two-by-three foot size of the bluestone for the walkway into the park.

The commission granted unanimous approval to Allan MacKay for installing a fence and plantings to conceal an air conditioning compressor on the single family Beach Avenue property of Joanna and Earl Bernier.

The HDC also granted unanimous final approval to contractor Jake Nelson for installing new shingles, trim, and decking on the single family dwelling owned by Amy and Matthew Briand on Mill Pond Lane.

The next HDC meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.