No objection to two projects from Conservation board

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 9:00am

The Conservation Commission quickly approved two applications at its meeting earlier this month. Both were for advisories to the Zoning Board of Review for Special Use permits.

The first request was from the First Baptist Church to construct four, one bedroom, year round rental apartments on the third floor of the church. Tony Pappas was present representing the church.

Co-chair Fred Leeder said that since there were no planned changes to the grounds of the church, nor of the footprint of the building, “I don’t see where there’s anything in our purview,” he said.

Commissioner John Hopf echoed Leeder’s opinion, saying: “We don’t have a dog in this fight.”

Chair Ned Phillips, Jr. was also in favor. “I’m all for it,” he said.

Although Pappas told The Times that there were still more boards and commissions that needed to approve the project, he hoped that the apartments would be available for rent in January 2019.

The second request was from the Block Island Power Company for a special use permit to remove the five underground fuel storage tanks at the power plant, and to replace them with two above ground tanks. 

Phillips noted that the request was “for something that’s already been done.”

The Town Council has already approved a temporary special use permit, so the request is somewhat of a formality.

“I think the important thing is the underground tanks have been removed,” said Clerk Kate Campanale. 

She also updated the Commissioners on the status of the contamination of soil beneath the tanks, explaining that the contamination did not come from any of the five tanks, as no leaks were found, but was probably already present when the tanks were installed.