Barrington zoning amendments hearing is July 30

The Barrington Town Council will hold a public hearing on a number of proposed zoning map amendments at a meeting later this month.

On Monday night, July 9, the council gathered for a workshop on the matter with the Barrington Planning Board. Town Planner Philip Hervey said the proposed changes are aimed at making the zoning map consistent with the future land use map, which is part of the town’s comprehensive plan.

Some proposed changes call for re-zoning several areas of town as “GI” or government and institutional. The new zone was approved by the council as part of a series of zoning ordinance revisions earlier this year.

The potential switch wouldn’t alter how the areas are being used currently but would clarify their use compared with current zoning. The public safety complex, for example, is located within a residential 25 zone while the town hall and library are in an open space active area.

Other changes include areas around both Barrington High School and Barrington Middle School, which are proposed to change from open space active to recreation and education. Hampden Meadows School and Sowams Elementary School are also proposed for the same switch.

Additionally, St. Andrew’s Field is slated to move from residential 25 to sections of open space active and open space passive and an area currently known as Police Cove is scheduled for a change from residential 25 to open space active.

Mr. Hervey said the zoning map hasn’t received a comprehensive update since the mid 1990s. Overall, Mr. Hervey said the amendments largely bring the map up to date with how the affected properties are currently being used.
Other proposed alterations center on much smaller pieces of property. A residential lot on Pleasant Street, for example, has a zoning border running through it. The front section of the parcel is R-25 while the back portion is currently zoned for conservation. A pair of properties of Fireside Drive, meanwhile, are proposed for a switch from R-25 to R-10, which would make them consistent with other properties on the road.

The Bayside Y is also within an area proposed for a zoning change from open space active to recreation and education.

Outside of GI, the proposed map amendments look to add a second new zone to Barrington – residence 40-conservation and development, which was approved under the previously mentioned zoning ordinance amendments.

Parcels that could fall under this zone lay near the town’s border with Swansea around Nockum Hill. The majority of the parcels are privately owned with a couple pieces of public land.

Residence 40-conservation development zoning, according to local ordinance, is aimed at encouraging the development of harmonious, efficient and convenient living environments for detached, single-family residences, among other features.

To see the complete list of zoning map amendments or read the zoning ordinance, visit the town’s website at www.ci.barrington.ri.us. The public hearing will be held as part of the council’s meeting on July 30.

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