Lombardi: No home will be built on North Elmore property

Lombardi: No home will be built on North Elmore property

NORTH PROVIDENCE – A partially built home on North Elmore Avenue that was previously approved under controversial circumstances will not be completed, says Mayor Charles Lombardi, ending months of speculation about potential outcomes.

Lombardi said town officials are looking to work out a compromise with the developer behind the project to have him “move on from that parcel.” Options include working out a resolution to compensate its developer with either another piece of property or cover the costs of cleaning up the North Elmore property, both of which will cost taxpayers some money.

“I can guarantee you that will not happen, that home will not be built,” said Lombardi. “We’ve talked a couple times already. At this point it’s in discussions.”

He said residents should feel confident in a process that ended the project before it got too far.

“I was all over that like a cheap suit,” he said.

The Breeze reported in January that the town had ordered a stop to work at the North Elmore Avenue home. In April, Building Inspector Mike Carnevale said Sathuan Sa was not pushing to complete the home after agreeing that it hadn’t been a good idea to start framing the home when he’d only gotten a permit for the foundation. Estimates at the time were that Sa had invested up to $70,000 into the home. Lombardi declared in April that the lot needed to be cleared by the builder.

The mayor re-emphasized this week that he’s not happy with how the Zoning Board handled approvals for the property, saying it was “so unfortunate” and showed a “blatant disregard” for the rules. A compromise will satisfy the builder “and make sure neighbors and residents are satisfied also,” he said.

“They don’t want the structure there,” he said. “I can guarantee you there will not be a home built there.”

The Breeze previously reported on the fallout after the Zoning Board of Review allowed construction of the home on a lot that’s about half of the 8,000 square feet required for a new home in North Providence, including front and rear yards measuring only 10 feet deep.

The board declared the lot a substandard lot of record early last year, later drawing criticism from Carnevale and Lombardi.

Zoners originally accepted the story from developer Louis Giuliano, who was buying the property out of tax sale, that he was planning to build a home for himself and his family. After making that case that a denial would represent a hardship and winning his approvals, he later sold the property for $46,000.

Giuliano later denied suggestions that he gave a “false sob story” about wanting to turn the property into a family home, saying his intention was to build a home for himself and his children, not flip the property for a profit. He noted how he sold the property eight months after receiving approval, after his financial situation changed and building was no longer an option for him.

He also said claims that he didn’t own the property when he flipped it were erroneous, telling The Breeze that he held a fee simple title, or a form vesting that “implies an absolute form of ownership.”

He accused the town of dragging its feet in the matter, including failing to give him a decision letter on his approval for six months and town officials even trying to buy it from him as he waited, preventing him from doing anything with the property.

“If my decision letter was rendered to me by March 18, 2019, or even in the vicinity of that date, I would have been able to build my house on the North Elmore property as originally planned,” he said. “But that never happened.”