LINCOLN – A new, 10-lot subdivision could be coming to Kendall Drive, off Old Louisquisset Pike, in Lincoln.

The Lincoln Planning Board met last Wednesday, Nov. 17, to discuss several projects, including the proposed development by We Dig Investments LLC. The so-called Fairgrounds subdivision, which came before the board at the master plan level, calls for the reconfiguration of five existing lots into 10 residential lots, accessed by a new roadway and cul-de-sac.

The area has been developed for several decades and once housed kennels for dog racing. The kennels and associated buildings were recently demolished.

Victoria Howland, of Pare Corp., said they started looking at the future of the land in late 2020. Originally, they explored the idea of a 55-and-older condominium complex, but the plans evolved into the current application after much behind-the-scenes work and discussions with abutters.

The land could be evenly divided into 13 parcels, but Howland said some would be awkwardly shaped. Instead, they opted for nine. The proposed development would be located off an existing cul-de-sac at the intersection of Kendall Drive and Jason Drive.

One residential lot, which has an existing house on it, would be reduced in size. At the advice of Town Solicitor Tony DeSisto, the board asked for a written agreement from the neighbor whose land would be altered.

Members of the project team indicated that the homeowner’s main concern was their address changing.

The plans also call for the abandonment of part of Paul Street (a paper street), which is adjacent to the proposed subdivision and Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino.

According to a town ordnance, when a road is abandoned, half of the resulting property is transferred to each abutting property. The applicant is working with the abutting property owners (the casino) to acquire the full width. If successful, they’ll plant an evergreen buffer where the existing paper roadway is located.

The next stage in the review process is a public informational meeting in December.

Lantern Road subdivision concerns raised

The Planning Board also engaged in a pre-application review of a proposed subdivision off Lantern Road. No votes are taken during pre-application meetings, which are intended to share information and discuss different aspects of the project.

The application, submitted by Brian Beck, represents the subdivision of one residential lot into two. The original lot consists of 11.73 acres. The proposed new lot, which has frontage along both Whipple and Lantern roads, would be 5.74 acres, while the existing lot would be reduced to 5.9 acres.

Planning Board members who sit on the TRC raised four potential issues with the project.

First, the proposed gravel driveway would directly abut the back yards, or rear property lines, of two existing residential homes.

Second, the driveway would be gravel, due to the extensive wetlands complexes surrounding the lot. Members of the TRC feared that future residents may replace the gravel driveway with asphalt, which would violate the applicant’s Rhode Island Division of Environmental Management wetlands permit.

The TRC was also concerned that the upland square footage of the existing and proposed lots was not included on the plans.

Finally, the subdivision would require two waivers. One would allow the development to exceed the lot depth-to-lot width requirement, while the second is being requested so as to avoid installing curbing and sidewalks on Lantern and Whipple roads.

A letter of opposition signed by several neighbors was read into the record, citing several of the above-mentioned concerns.

Addressing those concerns, the applicant’s pre-engineer/project manager Joe Duhamel said they considered an access point from Whipple Road, but that it would present more of an environmental concern, as it cuts through the wetlands.

Planning Board chairman Ken Bostic joked that they’d need a boat to get across the driveway.

Duhamel said an impervious crushed stone driveway would have the least environmental impact, but that they’re amenable to permeable asphalt.

As per the location of the driveway, Duhamel said it was aligned based on the “least disturbance to the site,” but that the project team came up with a secondary option where the driveway runs through the side yard of one property.

The RIDEM permit would need to be adjusted, if that option is chosen. The board indicated it was up to the developer to present the best-possible design for that land.

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