LINCOLN – The owner of the historic Valentine Whitman House has a new use for the old property.
Carly McEnery, who purchased the Valentine Whitman House from Preserve RI last year, has submitted two special use permit applications to the Technical Review Committee. The first is for keeping livestock, specifically ducks, and the second is an application for a farm stand.
The TRC was operating under the assumption that McEnery wants to keep the ducks as pets to get their eggs.
The application mentioned keeping three ducks, but the committee had questions about how many ducks should be allowed in total, with members Leslie Quish and Michael Reilly asking what happens when three ducks becomes six ducks and so on.
Town Planner Joshua Berry clarified that not only would the Zoning Board put a cap on the number of ducks, but they would also limit the special use permit to be only for ducks and no other livestock.
Committee members also mentioned concern about mice or rats infiltrating the ducks’ area to eat their food or droppings. With the age of the Valentine Whitman House, members said they’re worried that if rodents are around the home, it would be easy for them to get into the house given its older structure.
Zoning official and committee member Russell Hervieux suggested burying the fence around the duck area a foot underground to prevent animals from tunneling underneath, or having a raised coop for the ducks.
Ultimately, the TRC gave a unanimous positive recommendation, asking the Zoning Board to be aware of the fence and potential rodent situation.
Berry said he thinks the potential presence of ducks “adds to the character of the neighborhood rather than detracts from it.”
The application for the farm stand was also reviewed by the TRC. McEnery’s intention with the stand is to have a self-service flower stand, where she will sell flowers from her own garden.
The TRC was in support of this application as well, given that the stand would be very small and a positive attribute for the neighborhood.
Hervieux mentioned to the TRC that Preserve RI had drawn up easements when selling the historical property to McEnery. Two of the easements are regarding signage and improvements.
According to Hervieux, there is no signage allowed at the Whitman House, and any improvements must receive permission from Preserve RI.
The TRC voted in favor of the farm stand, giving it a positive recommendation with the condition that McEnery abide by specific easements.
Welcome to the discussion.
Comments that will be deleted include:
What we at The Breeze would truly like to see are comments that add history and context to a story or that use criticism constructively.