Housing Board makes progress with O’Brien plans

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 5:30pm

The Block Island Housing Board continued preliminary planning for its next affordable housing project, on an undeveloped lot across West Side Road from Ball O’Brien Park, at its March 9 virtual meeting.

Member John Spier reported he had completed “most of the information for the application” for a zoning change for the parcel as he had suggested at the Board’s February meeting.

“I have the application for the zone change on my desk,” said Spier. Making the site consistent with the New Harbor Commercial Zone would give the board more flexibility with the scale and density of the proposed project.

Chair Cindy Pappas reminded the board that they needed to figure out “who to hire for a topographical survey [of the property] in the immediate future” to serve as a visual aid in the process.

“The topographic map is really important from a design standpoint to see what the land will accommodate,” said Pappas.

Some board members expressed interest in dedicating more time and visiting the property in-person to help with their creative thinking.

“I think that we will accomplish more if we start having dedicated meetings for the sole purpose of Ball O’Brien,” said Spier.

“I agree,” said Vice-Chair Rosemary Tobin.

The board tentatively scheduled a special meeting at the property on April 6, for a tour and more discussion.

Cherry Hill Lane Homeowners Association

Board Member Shannon Cotter-Marsella stated there were no immediate updates on the Cherry Hill Lane Homeowners Association. She said island resident Pete Tweedy, who has been volunteering his time and efforts with establishing the association, had a “list of things he was going to take care of.”

“He said he would be gone the month of March and hopefully be back to it in April,” said Marsella.

“I can email him and see if there is anything I can do for the month of March,” said Tobin.

Pappas reminded Cotter-Marsella, who is also the secretary of the association, to have the new homeowners reach out to her for any home-related issues.

“I reached out to all of the homeowners a few weeks back, reminding them to – if they had any items – write and submit them to me and I would forward it onto Pariseault Builders,” the prime contractor for the new homes, said Pappas.

Pappas noted there had been a few heating, plumbing, electrical, and water-related issues and would “check in with Pariseault [Builders] again to see what their game plan is.”