The proposed Bluemead Farm subdivision in Rumstick got relatively smooth sailing before the Barrington Planning Board Wednesday evening, Sept. 5, in Town Hall.
The nine-lot subdivision on the corner of Chachapacasset and Beach roads will be referred to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission for a possible archeological study because it sits adjacent to a spring-fed pond along Beach Road that dates back to pre-Colonial days.
And the developers will have to come back to the Planning Board with a specific “grading plan” for the 13.6 acres that tilt and slope toward Narragansett Bay.
“It’s a pretty tough lot,” said Planning Board Chairman Mike McCormick.
But the proposal presented to the planners “is pretty much going to be it,” said David Gardner, of the Warwick engineering and surveying firm that bears his name and developed the site plan.
“We’re not asking for waivers or special zoning,” added Martin Slepkow, attorney for the owner, Bluemead Family L.P. of 211 RumstickRoad.
“It’s a subdivision that follows the regulations,” said Gardner, while trying to lessen the environmental impact as much as possible. “We’re trying to save as many trees as we can.”
Stormwater drainage also will flow into a natural depression and a rain garden that each homeowner will have to take into account when designing their home.
There was some concern expressed by a neighbor with the developer’s intent to allow homeowners to build whatever type of house they want on the site. In essence, the subdivision will be built out one lot at a time.
“The final lot configurations will be determined by the types of houses built and their orientation,” Gardner said.
The development’s infrastructure – water, sewer and utilities – will be built by the developer.
The subdivision also includes a 623-foot long road that ends at a cul de sac. Eight of the houses will sit along the road; one will sit along Chachapacasset Road. Two of the houses will be built as affordable homes under Barrington's inclusionary zoning regulations.
Several other neighbors questioned the drainage of stormwater, particularly toward the pond. But Gardner assured them that “there will be no increase in the volume of water into the pond that already flows there. We’re collecting all the water runoff from the road (Chachapacasset) to the end of the cul de sac.”
The amount of fill that will need to be brought onto the site to level the road and several of the lots also is a concern. Gardner said several of the lots may have to be raised.
Helen Tjader of the brought up the issue of the historic spring and natural pond. She cited the historical volume, “Sowams,” which traces the pond and the spring back to the mid-1600s.
The plan for the subdivision also will be referred to the Coastal Resources Management Council and other state and local agencies for “peer reviews.”
Bluemead Farm will be back on the Planning Board’s agenda at the Oct. 2 meeting. The public information meeting was adjourned until then.