Public hearing slated for condos at former Highridge Club

Public hearing slated for condos at former Highridge Club

LINCOLN – Plans for a new condominium development at the former Highridge Swim and Tennis Club are moving forward to a public hearing.

Abutters will have the chance to raise any concerns with the plans being proposed by Link Commercial Properties, owned by Frank Paolino.

The developer hopes to develop roughly six acres of the former recreation facility into 14 duplexes, each with an attached two-car garage. There would be a total of 28 age-restricted condominiums in total at the “Village at Albion.”

At last week’s Planning Board meeting, chairman Ken Bostic asked the project team to look at the possibility of adding curbing and sidewalks to the roadways in the 55-and-older development.

Attorney Brian LaPlante said the developer has gone back into the plans to take a closer look at the curbing, but that changing the plans now “brings us back to square one.” LaPlante said they would need to go back through the permit process with several state agencies including the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

The DEM permit was approved based on the original plans. “Now we’re hearing for the first time that the layout of our roadway is a problem,” LaPlante said, effectively undoing master plan approvals.

The application is currently slated for preliminary plan approval.

Town Engineer Leslie Quish said they wouldn’t need a full permit modification to install curbs.

“We will take a look at it. As my co-council said, since before COVID-19 my client has been committed to seeing this process through,” said Attorney Joe Shekarchi, who noted that the development was “well designed” and would have no impact on the school system.

For the first time, the town will accept a payment in lieu of the developer offering affordable housing. The project is required to designate six units, or 20 percent of the total, as affordable according to Rhode Island Housing standards.

That’s approximately $18,000 per unit, the project team said, which will be paid out to the town if the project moves forward.

The Town Council approved a zone charge for the development in October, and in December the project received a special use permit, lot width variance and lot coverage variance from the Zoning Board.

Neighbors will have an opportunity to speak during the project’s public hearing scheduled for August 26.

This month’s Planning Board agenda also included a review of a proposed subdivision on Boulevard Avenue, on the banks of Scott Pond.

Town Planner Al Ranaldi said the developer, Joshua George, is still “working out the details” of the application and has given the town “pretty much an unlimited extension until they get their permits and survey done.”

After neighbors shared concerns about the developer’s initial survey and began taking their own measurements of the property, the applicant agreed to pause the project to re-survey the land and apply for DEM permits.

With many DEM employees furloughed, Ranaldi said the process was moving slower than expected.

The project has been tentatively moved to next month’s agenda for preliminary plan discussion/approval.