SMITHFIELD – The Smithfield Planning Board has approved an 11-home development, Calcagni Estates, despite abutters’ concerns regarding the increased density of the site and its impact on the neighborhood, water, and traffic.
The Planning Board granted master plan approval for the project last Thursday after hearing concerns from two abutters.
Project owners Angelo and Lucy Calcagni, of Calcagni Estates planned at 115 Burlingame Road, bumped up the scope of the project from six homes in 2007 to 11 homes this year.
According to attorney Jean Fallago, representing the developer, Calcagni Estates is allowed 9.5 lots under the conventional subdivision, and is entitled to a bonus density of an extra two lots.
She said water access is possible on the site, but there is no sewer nearby and the site would require a private septic system. Fallago said developers will need to confirm that the water supply could handle additional service.
Fallago said the development will have no negative impact on the physical features of the road, that it conforms with the town’s comprehensive plan, and that it will leave 32 acres of open space forever.
Due to the wetlands, forested wetlands, swamp and streams on site, Calcagni Estates required Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management permits. Professional wetland scientist Scott Rabideau previously worked on the project in 2004, leading to approval to alter freshwater wetlands in 2007.
Rabideau said developers received extensions on the permit until 2015, when it became invalid. He said new permits were granted in 2020, and the buffering is no longer required.
The development needs three waivers, including a road width reduction waiver from 30 feet to 26 feet, a road radius reduction from 175 feet to 100 feet, and a stone wall moved on the property and reconstructed.
Rabideau said he feels all waivers are necessary to receive RIDEM permits.
Zachary Desrosiers, of 113 Burlingame Road, said he preferred the traditional development plan proposed in 2007 that had only six houses on the 45-acre lot. He said the larger development will affect his property and his quality of life.
He said the existing conservation easement should mean a more spaced out development, not put more houses in a smaller area. Desrosiers said in light of recent rezoning in Smithfield to match zoning to existing lots, he is concerned the same will happen in his neighborhood.
“If we have 11 non-conforming lots in this area of Burlingame Road, is this setting up the future to rezone the area,” Desrosiers said.
Abutter Paul O’Rorke, of 105 Burlingame Road, submitted a letter that the Planning Board. O’Rorke said he purchased his home due to its rural, quiet and private location. He said he was assured due to R-200 zoning that any hnew ouse built would be far back away from his home. Now, he said, the Calcagni development will put homes against his lot.
“This is far from the quiet and private home I planned on,” O’Rorke said.
O’Rorke also expressed concerns that the neighborhood has poor water supply and he has needed to replace his water pump more because it was “sucking water from the mains.”
O’Rorke said he’s concerned about the potential impact added demand will have on residents’ water supply. He added that Burlingame Road is a narrow road where drivers often need to pull to the side to let others pass.