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Oatley’s development will be discussed at next PB meeting

March 15, 2011

NORTH KINGSTOWN - Residents will have the opportunity to hear more about the proposed development at Oatley’s Restaurant on Ten Rod Road and the adjacent property Rolling Greens Golf Course, as well as voice their opinion, at the next North Kingstown Planning Commission meeting, this Tuesday evening.
The applicants are Mark Hawkins of M.L. Hawk Realty, LLC, owner of the golf course and Oatley’s owner Vaughn Oatley. The pair previously came before the Planning Commission in December during a public hearing where many spoke out in opposition.
Two items that are currently before the commission are an amendment to the town’s Comprehensive Plan and an amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance, in both cases, to be changed to a Mixed Use Planned Village Overlay Zone.
The proposed plans include the Oatley’s Restaurant property and undeveloped sections of Rolling Greens Golf Course, located in the vicinity of Routes 102 and 2. If approved, the 102-acres will be a combination of residential/light commercial usage.
The main objective for the project is to “provide an area for economic development in the community.” It’s intended to include a mixture of residential, retail, recreational and other uses. The design will include traditional architecture and historical village patterns, all the while avoiding big box stores, large shopping centers, business and industrial parks.
In order for a project like this to move forward many things would have to be accomplished.
The development will have to be protective of groundwater recharge and wellhead protection heads; it must produce a net positive fiscal impact for the town; the traffic generated must be adequately provided for and can not cause undue congestion or introduce a traffic hazard to the area; and there can be no “big box” commercial development and no retail or other commercial use shall exceed 20,000 square-feet per building.
In addition, residential dwellings shall not exceed two bedrooms per dwelling and the development shall not adversely impact or disrupt the neighborhood or the privacy of abutting landowners by excessive noise, light, glare or air pollution.
Before any formal plan can be submitted, Realty and Oatley need to have the aforementioned changes approved. Many of the residents who spoke out in opposition were concerned with the increase of traffic the development would bring in addition to the expected increase traffic from the expected completion of the new Wickford Junction train station.
Additionally during the meeting there will be a detailed presentation on the newly completed Horsley Witten Group’s Transfer of Development Rights Village Study. The purpose of the study was to research and study how village centers (like the one proposed) would work in the area.
The study will be done in two phases. The first phase, which has been completed, assessed eight areas (Allenton, Davisville, Hamilton, Lafayette, Saunderstown, Wickford, former Bald Hill Nursery and Rolling Greens Golf Course) in town and to find out if any of these areas would be an appropriate place for increased density and inclusion in a transfer of development rights program.
The second phase will be the design and ordinance development for areas ultimately selected in the first phase.
Dates will also be scheduled for the continued discussion of the proposed wind turbine at Stamp Farm.

The Planning Commission meeting will be held March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Wickford Middle School Cafeteria, 250 Tower Hill Road, North Kingstown.

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