Smithfield approves conceptual plans for fire station

Smithfield approves conceptual plans for fire station

Renderings for the new Smithfield Fire Station show a two-story red brick building with a three-bay garage. The upper floors will be used for administrative offices with an area in the back of the building for firefighters.

SMITHFIELD – Town planners approved conceptual plans for the new proposed fire station at the northeast corner of town last Thursday, along with recommendations to the Zoning Board for four variances.

The proposed two-story building will feature a three-bay station sitting on a 2.69-acre lot at 321 George Washington Highway at the corner of Lydia Ann Road. It will feature a pair of 30-foot curb-cuts to create a one-way entrance and exit for a “uniform traffic pattern,” said Brian King of Crossman Engineering.

King presented the plans to the Planning Board, saying the building will have a traditional fire station design, with red brick and stonework, with elements that modernize its look.

“It’s quality construction. We’re going to give you something that is going to last for the next 100-plus years,” King said.

The front half of the building will be for an administrative office with public space, as well as more administrative offices on the second floor. The rear of the building will be dedicated as a private area for firefighters.

Two of the three bays will be pull-through, while the third will be back-in with space for utilities in the back.

King said the site is wooded and adjacent to wetlands, with a significant slope on portions of the property. For that reason, the fire station would require four variances from the Zoning Board, including the front setback from the roadway on both George Washington Highway and Lydia Ann Road.

Done in coordination with Town Planner Michael Phillips, designs include 27 parking spaces, four fewer than the required 31 spaces, and the project will need a variance for spots. The parking lot, which will be in the front of the building on the Lydia Ann Road side, will need special permission due to not being in the rear of the building.

Phillips reminded the board that the call for a new fire station is included in the town’s comprehensive plan to help answer increasing call volumes in the northern area of town.

“They looked at a number of sites, and this was the best of the lots they looked at. I’m pleased with the layout,” Phillips said.

King said he worked with Phillips and Fire Chief Robert Seltzer and found that the station only needed about 22 parking spaces, settling on 27 spaces.

“It (31 spaces) does not meet the proposed, current, or future needs for the fire station,” King said.

Seltzer said all permits are in order, and thanked everyone on the project for working together to get the project going. Seltzer is a member of the Fire Station Building Committee, which found that the northern Route 116 and 7 corridor section of town experienced longer call response times than other areas of town.


The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism success story by making a one-time or monthly contribution to what we do every week. Thank you as always for reading.

Last June, the town agreed to pay $285,000 for the property to owner Smile LLC of 1 Thurber Blvd. Voters approved a $4.5 million bond in 2018 to build the new station to reduce delays in service to the northern portion of town, which ranged from eight to 13 minutes. Other areas of Smithfield have response times of four to six minutes.

When the Planning Board waived the requirement for a site visit, Seltzer invited people to personally contact him if they want to walk the site.

“I think you’ll be proud of what we’re putting down there,” he said.

Comments

From the picture it would appear with all the office space one could construe that this station would become the main Fire Station for the town? Is that the actual intention??