Fairview Avenue road extension marks first proposal before new N.S. planner

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – At Mark Carruolo’s first meeting leading North Smithfield’s Planning Department, the board granted unanimous approval to a subdivision that will include an extension to Fairview Avenue.

Developer Josh Brien applied to subdivide his 9.02 acre property at 173 Hanton St. to create an additional lot to hold a single-family home. The lot has frontage on both Hanton and neighboring Fairview Avenue, and Brien plans to add a cul-de-sac at the end of the short road to accommodate the new home.

The preliminary plan was presented for the first time last week by Paul Carlson of Insite Engineering Services.

“The house would be served by sewer, electric and a private well,” said Carlson. “This preliminary plan does meet all the bylaws and regulations for the town.”

According to town property records, Brien purchased the lot for $350,000 in 2016.

Once built, the road extension will become town property, and board members agreed to waive the requirement of granite curbing.

Planners expressed some concern about fire safety at the new home, noting that the nearest hydrant is 1/4 mile away on Greenville Road.

“I feel a little uncomfortable on… overriding the fact that the fire chief says he’d prefer to see it,” said board Chairman Gary Palardy, noting that the chief noted the need for additional water sources in the area. “I wouldn’t want to dismiss that.”

“There’s probably already houses there that are stretching it a little bit,” he said.

Planner David Punchak asked that the developer guarantee that the needed public improvements will be completed with a bond, rather than a letter stating his intent.

“Wouldn’t we just want a security instead?” Punchak asked. “Being a resident of an unfinished road, I would definitely push for a bond.”

The subdivision was ultimately approved with eight stipulations including the addition of a streetlight to the plan, a letter of approval from the fire chief, constructing to cul de sac to Department of Public Works standards and inclusion of a bond.

“You have the honor of presenting the first new project in the Mark Carruolo era of North Smithfield planning,” Palardy told the developer.

Carruolo, who was hired to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former Planner Tom Kravitz in August, was appointed to the position by Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski earlier this month. The new town employee comes to North Smithfield with decades of municipal experience, most recently coming from a job as planner for West Warwick.

“On behalf of the board, I want to say we are all very much looking forward to working with you,” Palardy told Carruolo. “We have a lot of confidence in you. We think it was a great selection for North Smithfield.”

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