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RI Coastal Resources Management Council

...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

In accordance with notice to members of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, a meeting was held on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 6:00 PM at the Narragansett Bay Commission Boardroom – One Service Road, Providence, RI.

MEMBERS

Mike Tikoian, Chair
Paul Lemont, Vice Chair
Ray Coia
Bruce Dawson
Dave Abedon
Director Michael Sullivan
Neill Gray
Joe Shekarchi

MEMBERS ABSENT

Jerry Zarrella
Tom Ricci
Donald Gomez

STAFF PRESENT

Grover Fugate, CRMC Executive Director
James Boyd, CRMC Coastal Policy Analyst
David Reis, CRMC Spv Environmental Scientist
Brian Goldman, CRMC Legal Counsel

1. Chair Tikoian called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m and read brief statement of clarification on the council’s permitting process.

2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING:

The minutes from August 28, 2007 should reflect that both Brian Goldman, Legal Counsel and John Longo, Deputy Legal Counsel were both present. Mr. Coia, seconded by Mr. Gray moved to approve the minutes of the August 28, 2007 meeting as corrected. The motion was carried on a unanimous voice vote.

3. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

Vice Chair Lemont reported that the Policy & Planning Subcommittee met on August 21, 2007 and talked about proposing the following Water Type changes/revisions: In the Quonochontaug Quadrangle propose revision to a portion of Type 2 waters of Ninigret Pond to Type 1 waters; in the Wickford Quadrangle propose revision to portion of Type 2 waters along the west shoreline of Jamestown to Type 1 waters; in the Wickford Quadrangle propose revision to Type 2 waters in and adjacent to Rome Point and Bissel Cove to Type 1 waters; in the Bristol Quadrangle propose to extend Type 1 designation south to include the southern property boundary of the Audobon Environmental Education Center. Chair Tikoian stated that the changes will be put out to 30-day public notice and then brought before the Council for public hearing.

4. STAFF REPORTS

No staff report.

Chair Tikoian stated that CRMC held a press conference on Monday, September 10, 2007 at Allin’s Cove Marina as they were the first marina to comply with the CRMC’s Clean Marina Program. Chair Tikoian stated that the press conference was well attended and was a great success in its collaboration of CRMC, DEM, EPA, and the Town of North Kingstown.

5. Presentation: Special Area Management Plans – Jim Boyd, CRMC Coastal Policy Analyst.

Mr. Boyd gave a brief presentation on the status of the Coastal Resources Management Council’s existing Special Area Management Plans, and he advised the Council of the on-going efforts to develop the new Aquidneck Island SAMP in collaboration with the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission and the communities of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth.

6. Chair Tikoian read through the agenda to see which applicants/attorneys were present.

7. APPLICATION REQUESTING AN EXTENSION OF EXISTING ASSENT:

1990-10-040 PAUL AND CATHERINE NEVILLE (originally Water Street Realty Trust) – Applicant requesting 3rd Full Council extension approval. Project location of plat 21, lot 4; Sakonnet Estates, Portsmouth, RI.

Chair Tikoian stated that a continuance request had been submitted by applicant. Chair Tikoian stated that he had not granted the continuance and asked Grover Fugate for a clarification on the extension process. Council members concerned about the number of extensions granted to this CRMC assent. Ray Coia asked what date the application would be extended from. Grover Fugate stated that the assent would be extended from the date of the expiration of the permit or previous extension. Brian Goldman clarified for Council that if the Extension was not granted the assent would no longer be valid, and they would have to come back to the Council for a new Assent. Paul Lemont, seconded by David Abedon, moved to deny the request for extension based on the number of extensions granted. The motion carried on a unanimous voice vote.

Mr. Shekarchi left the meeting at 7:00 p.m.

9. APPLICATIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN OUT TO NOTICE FOR 30 DAYS AND ARE BEFORE THE FULL COUNCIL FOR DECISION:

2004-08-097 FREDERICK and LOUISE WILLIAMS -- construct and maintain a single family dwelling, septic system (ISDS), individual well, detached shed and driveway. As proposed, the project will result in approximately 10,840 square feet of disturbance (loss) to jurisdictional wetlands of which approximately 3,800 square feet of disturbance will occur within the “swamp” itself. The affected wetland is regulated by CRMC’s Freshwater Wetlands in the Vicinity of the Coast Program. Located at plat 7, lot 8; West Main Road, Little Compton, RI.

CRMC Staff member David Reis gave the Council an overview on the application and the changes that the applicant had made to the plans at the Council’s request. Mr. Reis also updated the Council on his amended report and stated that he had added an additional stipulation for a pervious driveway which is requested by the DEM Water Quality Certificate. John Boehnert, Partride Snow and Hahn, is present for the applicant. Mr. Boehnert stated that the applicant had made a substantial reduction in the footprint of the house to keep house out of the wetland. Mr. Scott Rabidue and Mr. Bill Smith were sworn in by Brian Goldman. Mr. Boehnert asked Mr. Rabidue, biologist, to summarize the project and the impact of the proposed changes. Mr. Rabidue stated that he agreed with CRMC staff reports. Mr. Smith is available to answer questions in the event any are asked.

Chair Tikoian invites comment from public. Wendy Waller from Save the Bay came forward to read objection from Save the Bay based on the building of the house in the wetland. Ms. Waller stated that the Applicant did not have a valid local zoning approval as the zoning approval stated that the conditions set forth by the Little Compton Conservation Commission (LCCC) were to be met in order to have a valid zoning board approval. Save the Bay contends that the owners were unable to meet the conditions of the LCCC therefore did not have a valid zoning board approval. Ms. Waller stated that one of the conditions of the LCCC was that the owners needed to have received a DEM permit for septic system prior to the purchase of the land. Ms. Waller cited the dates of purchase of the land stating that the reason the LCCC gave their conditional approval was that the Williams’ stated that they did not have prior knowledge that the site was an unbuildable wetland prior to purchase. Ms. Waller stated that based on the dates cited, the owners purchased the land prior to receiving the DEM ISDS permit and therefore could not have known whether the lot was buildable or not. There was discussion amongst the Council regarding documentation Ms. Waller was using and whether she could authenticate the documents. Mr. Boehnert countered saying that the Williamses had only signed the purchase and sales agreement with the condition that the lot receive an ISDS. Ms. Waller was sworn in at this time. There was much discussion amongst the Council members on whether CRMC should have the responsibility of deciding whether the local approval was valid. Ms. Cynthia Giles, Conservation Law Foundation, was sworn in and voiced objections on behalf of CLF citing that the Zoning Board decision is invalid and therefore CRMC could not entertain the application as it did not have a complete application before the Council. John Boehnert stated that the Zoning Board had not revoked the permit, it was not challenged or appealed, and therefore the Zoning Board approval was valid. Neill Gray stated that he felt it was not a responsibility of the Management Council to validate the approval of municipality. Ray Coia requested clarification on dates of the purchase of the lot. Neill Gray asked if the Council could continue the matter at hand and request the Little Compton Zoning Board to verify the validity of the Zoning Board approval. David Reis stated that the Building Official form is CRMC’s proof of local approval; read from Building Official form which was signed by both building official and zoning official. Jeffrey Gladstone, Partridge Snow & Han, Co-council of John Boehnert, clarified the events of the obtaining of the zoning board approval as he was council at the time. Mr. Gladstone stated that all the issues of purchase and sales dates have been fully litigated and should not be an issue before the Council. Cynthia Giles gave rebuttal arguing the validity of the zoning board approval. Chair Tikoian stated that he believed staff answered the questions based on CRMC procedures that we entertained the application in full compliance with applications procedures. Chair also asked CRMC legal counsel to clarify responsibility of validating the zoning board approval. Mr. Goldman stated that the responsibility goes back on the local zoning board. Mr. Goldman cited Section 300.1 which says that an applicant has to demonstrate that all local zoning ordinance etc have or will be met. The authenticating official is the building official. The burden would then shift to the objector to show proof that the local approvals have been pulled. Mr. Goldman suggested that the Executive Director should make and official request of the local zoning official to ascertain as to whether there is in fact a valid local approval. Mr. Sullivan asks for clarification on the issues if the application were to be continued to another meeting. Chair Tikoian stated that Executive Director would contact zoning board official and ask for clarification on zoning board approval; accurate engineering drawing of house dimensionally and its placement along with the infrastructure; full representation of the Conservation Easement with accurate map; reconsideration of language of the conservation easement. Dave Reis stated that a full scale plan was submitted to the office of the changes in the application. Mr. Sullivan asked to see the full set of plans. Ms. Abigail Brooks, President of the Sakonnet Conservation Commission provided letter for the administrative record. Bill Richmond, Chairman of the Little Compton Conservation Commission spoke as to his position on the project and the logic of the Commission in regards to the zoning board approval. Ms. Fran Hart, Conservation Commission submitted letter for administrative record. Chair Tikoian asked for motions. Paul Lemont, seconded by Bruce Dawson, motioned to continue the application for 4 weeks with stipulations as discussed. It was decided that the October 9, 2007 meeting would give applicant enough time to provide documentation and would give the Executive Director enough time to contact Little Compton Zoning Board for validation of zoning approval; motion including the flexibility for Chair Tikoian working with the Executive Director on scheduling. Motion was carried on unanimous voice vote.

11. Enforcement Report – August 2007

There were none held.

12. Category “A” List

There were none held.

There being no further business to discuss. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Grover Fugate, Executive Director

Reported by Lori A. Field

Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
Voice 401-783-3370 • Fax 401-783-3767 • E-Mail cstaff1@crmc.ri.gov

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