A new development slated for the Sowams Nursery property on Sowams Road will be discussed at a special planning board meeting on Sept. 27.
At that meeting, representatives for the East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC) — the agency proposing the work — will share the proposed site plan for Palmer Pointe Neighborhood. The early plan includes 50 housing units — two existing buildings at 91 and 97 Sowams Road, and 48 newly-constructed units.
The housing units will cover 9.15 acres that run east from Sowams Road to the Palmer River on property that now plays host to Sowams Nursery. The plan shows an entrance — Red Maple Road — that loops through the development, passing by 15 multi-unit buildings.
The proposed site plan includes 12 one-bedroom units, 23 two-bedroom units, and 13 three-bedroom units. There are also two existing homes that will be renovated as part of the project.
According to Tony DeSisto, an attorney representing the developer, the homes will be designated low-to-moderate income level housing.
“It’s really workforce housing,” said Mr. DeSisto. “And there’s a real need for it in this town.”
Mr. DeSisto said residents will have a chance to get a better look at the proposed work at the Sept. 27 planning board meeting, although the public will likely not be allowed to comment during the meeting.
“This will give everybody a chance to see what’s planned, what this project will look like,” he added.
In addition to the housing units, the developer has also planned the creation of community open space toward the eastern edge of the property, a common green, paved walking trails and dirt walking paths. A dirt path leading to the edge of the Palmer River will be maintained, allowing for a space to launch kayaks.
The proposed site plan also shows the preservation of existing trees on the property and the construction of a gazebo. There will be 94 total parking spaces in the development — 84 for the residents and 10 for visitors and guests. There is also a maintenance garage, office and laundry facility.
While neighboring homes in the area are built much closer to the shoreline of the Palmer River, the homes at Palmer Pointe show a greater setback from the water’s edge.
Mr. DeSisto, who represented EBCDC during its construction of Sweetbriar in the western part of Barrington, said he believes people will be more accepting of the proposed affordable housing this time around.
“One of the issues with Sweetbriar was that it was the first of its kind (in Barrington),” he said.