The Barrington Planning Board is calling for a reduction in the number of housing units planned for the Palmer Pointe affordable housing development.
At its meeting on Tuesday night, July 16, board members listened to some testimony presented by experts brought in on behalf of the residents’ group CODDER 02806. After closing the public hearing portion of the meeting, planning board members further discussed the topic and then began building their recommendation.
According to Barrington Town Planner Phil Hervey, the board is calling for eight fewer housing units. The developer, East Bay Community Development Corporation, has built a plan that includes 50 total units — including two single-family houses on the western edge of the property at Sowams Road. The planning board is calling for 42 units, including the two homes.
Mr. Hervey said the type of zoning for that area — village zone — calls for five units per developable acre of land. The EBCDC engineer reportedly estimates the developable land at 6.6 acres, which would drop the total number of units to 33. Planning board members stretched that figure to reflect numbers at similar developments. Sweetbriar has 6.2 units per developable acre, while Walker Farm Lane has 6.7 units. A total of 42 units at Palmer Pointe would equate to about 6.3 units per developable acre. (At least one member of the planning board believed the project should stick to five units per acre.)
The planning board will also likely recommend some other stipulations for the project, including:
• Nothing (no pavement or structures) within 25 feet of abutting property lines
• Wider street (22 feet as opposed to 20 feet)
• Add sidewalks along Sowams Road (EBCDC officials reportedly offered a possibility of paying a fee in lieu of building the sidewalk)
• A more detailed traffic study
The Barrington Planning Board will vote on the draft decision at its meeting on Aug. 6.