Neighbors of proposed Georgiaville Place worried about privacy

Neighbors of proposed Georgiaville Place worried about privacy

Renderings for the Georgiaville Place condominiums show a three-story building with a built-in garage on the first floor fitting two cars inside and a third in the driveway.

SMITHFIELD – Georgiaville Place, at 95 Farnum Pike, will feature nine two-bedroom condominium units on less than 1 acre of land between the Waterfront Townhouses, 97 Farnum Pike, and the Farnum Court Condominiums, 93 Farnum Pike.

The Planning Board last week approved the plans with conditions, including an on-site walk-through and that the developers take abutters’ concerns into consideration.

The development consists of two three-story buildings, one with five two-bedroom units in the front of the lot, and a second building in the rear with four two-bedroom units. Each unit covers approximately 2,000 square feet.

Serviced by sewer and water, a single-family home sits on the property and it will be razed to make room for Georgiaville Place.

Abutters said the plot measuring 0.79 acres is not large enough for the development, and would impede on privacy to either side.

Katie Thompson, of the Farnum Court Condos, said the three-story buildings will allow Georgiaville Place residents to see directly into the windows and yards of the shorter condo buildings next door. She asked for “significant landscaping” to be done to create “substantial privacy.”

Patricia Perrino, also of 93 Farnum Pike, said she is already able to hear people and dogs barking at the Waterfront Townhouses.

“There’s no privacy now without those condos being built,” Perrino said.

Tania Medeiros, of the Waterfront Townhouses, said the properties are already close together and another development will overcrowd the area.

Developers are pushing the plan through under the low-to-moderate-income housing mandate, which allows for high-density development on the residential plot in exchange for LMI housing units.

According to professional engineer Joe Casali, Georgiaville Place will utilize 50 percent density on the lot for a maximum number of nine units, allowable under the town’s LMI housing ordinance.

Of the nine units, five LMI units will be dispersed throughout the development, said attorney Nicholas Goodier, representing developer Homes R Us.

Goodier said the additional five units will help Smithfield move toward the 10 percent LMI threshold mandated by the state.

Town Planner Michael Phillips said the town is at 5 percent LMI, or around 450 units of the 7,900 houses in Smithfield.

Phillips also pointed to the higher prices on the LMI units, which are priced at 120 percent of the median income in Smithfield.

The state’s funding formula for LMI housing is based on mortgage interest rates, which are low now and caused prices to increase.

“My concern is that the more the LMI go up, the closer they are to market-rate units,” Phillips said.

Goodier said unit pricing is not in the purview of the board, and the development received a letter of eligibility putting rates on LMI units at no more than $342,850 and $272,000 on the low end.

Goodier said comparable market-rate two-bedroom units are priced at $375,000 to $399,000.

At that price tag, Goodier reminded abutters that LMI housing is not Section 8 or subsidized housing. Rather, he said, it is designed for “young professionals who grew up in Smithfield” but have been priced out of landing new houses in subdivisions.

“People sometimes think when they hear LMI it’s something that’s going to detract from the neighborhood,” Goodier said.

Rather, he said, the higher-priced units will help increase the value of nearby houses and condos.

Board member Michael Moan agreed with concerns from abutter Lisa Berard of 97 Farnum Pike about the parking situation at Georgiaville Place, which has two stacked spots in the garage and an additional spot in the driveway.

Berard said the development may cause overflow parking into nearby visitor lots, while Moan said the configuration may cause “difficult juggling” between spaces.

Developer Scott Ringland said he is willing and able to work with abutters’ concerns, saying anyone can contact him with questions and comments at 401-265-9797.

An aerial view of the proposed Georgiaville Place development tucked between two similar condominium complexes features nine two-bedroom units. The construction will raze the single-family home on the almost 1-acre property.

Comments

I believe a more effective way to judge the feasibility and consideration of the developer's intent is to contact the abutter's of Mr. Ringland's current developments throughout the area. I'm sure you will find a multitude of satisfied neighbors willing to support his company's reputation. I implore you to contact Mr. Ringland at his listed number, ask him for references, specifically current abutter's to validate his claims of being "Willing and Able" to work with abutters. After all, it is your privacy at stake and you should really do your homework on matters as important as these.