Housing appeals board hears Lime Rock Dunkin’, condo plan

Housing appeals board hears Lime Rock Dunkin’, condo plan

LINCOLN – A year and a half after the Lincoln Planning Board denied the proposal for a drive-through Dunkin’ Donuts and six-unit condominium development in Lime Rock, the State Housing Appeals Board took up the project on April 2.

No decision was made last week by the SHAB, moving the discussion of the proposal to April 23.

The complex, proposed for the corner of Twin River Road and Old Louisquisset Pike, would include about 8,500 square feet of low- to moderate-income housing and a 3,000-square-foot Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant, plus 2,600 square feet of retail space. The property is zoned as residential.

The Lincoln Planning Board unanimously denied the proposal in September 2016, following a three-hour public informational meeting at which residents expressed concerns over traffic and safety.

Town Planner Albert Ranaldi said the SHAB deals with permits for affordable housing, that almost never include a commercial element. For this reason, Ranaldi expects the board to deny the proposal.

Ranaldi said members of the board “had trouble getting past the fact that the commercial part of the project was so prominent.”

When the project was initially presented by 1672 Realty Associates LLC, officials raised a number of concerns, including the lack of waivers for actions prohibited in residential zones. Town officials were also concerned about the impact of a Dunkin’ Donuts on traffic.

“Dunkin’ generates an awful lot of traffic,” said Ranaldi. “The Planning Board had serious safety concerns about this project.”

At a public hearing, neighbors echoed concerns about traffic, but did not express issues with the affordable housing component of the project.

The Planning Board formally denied the application for the reason of being inconsistent with the town’s Affordable Housing Plan, citing that the project is inconsistent with the town’s comprehensive plan that identifies Lime Rock as a “single family residential sector of Lincoln” and calls for limiting further commercial development on the Old Louisquisset Turnpike.

Other reasons for denial included inconsistency with local needs and/or zoning ordinances, concerns for the environment and health and safety of current residents, as well as being inconsistent with the town’s affordable housing plan.

In other news, Cumberland Farms Inc. was granted an extension for the construction of a new convenience store and gas station at 823 Smithfield Ave. to replace the existing structures. Construction will begin in the next six months.