Cherry Hill Lane construction underway

After Planning Board approval
Thu, 08/22/2019 - 6:45pm

Construction of the New Shoreham Housing Board’s Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing development project has received final approval and is now underway. 

Chair Cindy Pappas, who spearheaded the project, said it would be time to “pop the champagne” if final approval was granted by the Planning Board at its August 14 meeting. In short order, Pappas got her wish, as the Planning Board unanimously approved the project.

The $1.4 million project involves construction of five single-family dwellings off Cooneymus Road. The project calls for constructing three three-bedroom homes and two ranch style two-bedroom dwellings. The three larger homes will be priced at an estimated $295,000 each, while the two smaller dwellings will be on the market for $240,000 apiece, totaling $1,365,000.

With the infrastructure site work completed, and documentation submitted to the Land Use department, the board unanimously approved two items: the Housing Board’s “request for a financial guarantee in lieu of full completion of infrastructure improvements,” and the “final plan stage” for the project.

Prior to the meeting, Pappas told The Times that “in order to be granted final approval by the Planning Board you have to have completely finished all of the project’s infrastructure work.” She said the board placed over $100,000 in escrow as insurance, “in the event that something is not done to the liking of the Planning Board. This is assurance that we are working according to the plan that was approved.”

Pappas said infrastructure work on the 4.5-acre subdivision property includes installation of roads, landscaping, septic and water systems, etc.

“All of the contractors are on schedule and being paid for their work,” said Pappas, who has been working on the housing project for about nine years. “This money that is in an escrow account is over and above” the $1.4 million budget for the project.

As for the final stage plan, she said, “The Planning Board has been through the plans a million times. Everything is being built according to the plans. There’s been no change to the plans.”

During the meeting, board member Dennis Heinz asked Pappas if the homeowners would be able to rent the homes.

“The intent is for residents to occupy them year-round,” said Pappas. “Every year we will send out an affidavit to have the homeowners reassert that they are following the rules.” She added that there might be special dispensations, for illness, etc., but: “The expectation is that they are owner-occupied, year-round.”

Jenn Brady, the town’s Land Use Administrator, said, ”Let’s be sure that you’re comfortable with everything that’s been submitted.” The board seemed to agree that the application was in order.

“Does anyone have any concerns with this application?” asked Chair Margie Comings of her fellow board members.

No concerns were raised. Comings then made the motion for final plan stage approval, which was seconded by Socha Cohen, and the board voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the project. Cindy’s husband, Tony Pappas, recused, while Christine Grele was absent.

“That’s another step out of the way,” said Comings.

The reference was not lost on Cindy Pappas, who spent the past two years seeking town approvals for the project. “Thank you for your patience and guidance,” she said.

“Congratulations,” said Comings. “It’s a lovely project.”

“Kudos to Bain Transue and his crew,” said Pappas, referencing one of the contractors in attendance at the meeting. Transue is also working with M. Ernst Excavating, Inc., which is also an island-based company. “We’re very happy with the progress so far. This approval allows us to continue to move forward with this project, and bring it to completion.”

Pappas told The Times that Pariseault Builders, a construction company based in Warwick that was awarded the contract to construct the modular homes, is in the process of designing and building the five dwellings. She said the goal is for the homes to be completed by mid-October.

The board’s target date for completion of the project is Jan. 1, 2020. There will be a lottery for the sale of the homes to affordable housing eligible applicants.

Sun Farm Oysters modifications

In other news, the Planning Board unanimously granted approval of an advisory opinion to Chris Warfel and his Sun Farm Oysters company for winterizing and shifting his location south in Harbor Pond behind the Beachead restaurant. Warfel intends to install dark colored Permafloats at the site, which are foam-filled sections of dock with a hard outer shell designed to prevent damage from the harsh marine environment.

Per town ordinance, any alteration or activities within the Great Salt Pond requires a written request to the town, and review by the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Harbors and Shellfish Commissions, and Harbormaster, before being submitted to the Town Council for a vote regarding final approval. The proposed alteration or activity must be consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan, harbor plan and town/zoning ordinances. 

The Shellfish Commission voted unanimously at its August 13 meeting to send a negative advisory to the Town Council. Renée Meyer reported that the commission wants Warfel to come into compliance with his current assent before seeking a modification. (See page 4.)

The next Planning Board meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.