New strip plaza proposed on southern Mendon Road

New strip plaza proposed on southern Mendon Road

Artist rendering depicts a new retail and office building proposed on southern Mendon Road on a vacant lot near the McDonald's, above. A liquor store, Subway sandwich shop and convenience store have been mentioned as possible tenants, with offices on the second level.

CUMBERLAND - A deferred 2012 proposal for a two-story commercial building next to the McDonald's and Stop & Shop on southern Mendon Road has been revived, enlarged, and is back before the Town Council in search of a rezoning go-ahead once again.

Planning Board members raised no objections to give it a unanimous thumbs-up recommendation for passage at their May 28 meeting.

Planners also gave a positive recommendation to a plan to move a stone countertop company out to a garage on Pine Swamp Road. That applicant needs a rarely-granted usage variance from the Zoning Board of Review.

Nayan Patel is the applicant for the 132 Mendon Road proposal under the name SLM LLC.

He's the owner of Paul's Liquors across the street.

The zoning change from industrial to commercial was approved for the 7,000-square-foot building by the Town Council in January 2013. Patel had said he plans to move his liquor store to the new building along with a Subway sandwich shop.

Now, prior to construction, the project has been enlarged to 17,600 square feet to also include a convenience store on the first floor and a second-floor that offers professional offices or perhaps a dance or karate center, according to Director of Planning and Community Development Kelley Morris.

A second lot, Lot 4, was added to the project.

Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is raising concerns about the abutting Peterson-Puritan Superfund site, telling Patel in a letter, "it appears that portions of the proposed infiltration basin on Lot 4 lie within the Superfund boundary."

It says the Environmental Protection Agency is noting that limited testing has found waste material and recommends a site investigation should be conducted.

On the countertop business, owner Bryan Cormier of Cumberland is seeking a use variance on a residentially-zoned lot at 46 Pine Swamp Road. The site contains a two-bay, two-story garage of concrete block.

The Countertop Shop has been in business at 420 Mendon Road, opposite the Marshall Avenue intersection, but will be displaced when Chuck Lombardi begins construction there of a new auto body shop.

Morris says the countertop owner wants to remain in Cumberland and is asking for permission to convert the Pine Swamp Road garage that sits near the intersection of Eagle on the north side of Pine Swamp, roughly halfway between the intersections of West Wrentham Road and Bound Road.

This is a request going to the Zoning Board of Review on June 11, but first saw planners weigh in on May 28 with a unanimous recommendation that it be approved. Abutters will be notified in advance of the meeting.

Morris is recommending the special use permit because, she said, "it would be virtually impossible to use the existing structure as a use permitted by the ordinance."

The town's Comprehensive Community Plan suggests the area should be used for commercial and industrial uses, she noted, even though the neighbors here are single family homes.

Morris urged Planning Board members to include in their recommendation a caution about outdoor storage arrangements. Uncut stone pieces are currently stacked outside the Mendon Road address.

Outside storage that's now permitted at the 390 Mendon Road location, above, is expected to be one topic of discussion when the owner of the Countertop Shop seeks to relocate to 46 Pine Swamp Road in northern Cumberland.
A two-story concrete block garage on Pine Swamp Road is suggested as the new site of the stone counter top maker, the Countertop Shop. The lot is zone for residential use but the owner is asking the Zoning Board of Review for a variance on June 11.