Planning Board will consider revised plan for Smith Street condominiums on Feb. 14

Planning Board will consider revised plan for Smith Street condominiums on Feb. 14

NORTH PROVIDENCE – A revised plan to build homes behind the Wine & Cheese Restaurant will go back before officials next Wednesday, Feb. 14.

The North Providence Planning Board will consider a master plan application for five two-family homes on 2.76 acres of property at 1863 Smith St. The proposal, continued from a January meeting, will be considered starting at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, 2000 Smith St.

Developer Armand Cortellesso and Country View Holdings are bringing the latest proposal for the property. Earlier versions of the plan caused plenty of controversy in the neighborhood, which is also home to the town’s senior center and a busy commercial district.

The person who previously sought development rights at the property, Boston developer Joseph Romano, sparked opposition among neighbors back in 2013 when he had the land cleared of all trees to make way for homes that weren’t yet approved. The owner of Wine & Cheese complained of flooding in his restaurant due to heavy rains combined with the absence of vegetation.

The development formerly known as Hammersmith Estates was later purchased from Romano by local developer Cortellesso, seeming to validate neighbors’ suggestions that Romano hadn’t intended to build the homes himself.

Cortellesso is seeking to build five homes on the lower part of the property to avoid the large rock formation toward the top of the property, says Town Planner David Westcott.

The new plan is similar to the earlier one, according to Westcott, except that by seeking condos, there are no lot lines so there are no undersized lots, meaning no variance is required. Romano had to seek variances because the lots were too small for his proposal.

Planning Board members will consider a number of issues, including whether the project meets minimum cul-de-sac size requirements. The latest proposal would leave most of the site as open space, which Westcott said he imagines will make at least some of the neighbors happy.

Also on the agenda for the Feb. 14 meeting is an application for approval of a preliminary subdivision plan to divide an existing 19,717-square-foot lot at 30 Joslin Ave. to form two new lots for single-family homes. Owner David Grande is bringing that proposal.