BURRILLVILLE – Plans to utilize two town-owned properties in Pascoag to offer recreation for residents, including a walking trail and playground, are now moving forward, with a master plan for the project set to go before the Burrillville Planning Board on Monday, April 3.
The project – funded with help from a $300,000 recreation grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management obtained in 2020 – will bring major improvements to the Beckwith Bruckshaw Lodge, with more parking spaces and an access road on Church Street, in addition to the current entrance on Lodge Road.
It will affect both the 3.3-acre property that currently holds the lodge, and a vacant, forested 73.4-acre adjoining lot, also owned by the town. Plans prepared for the Department of Public Works by Crossman Engineering show a playground to be built adjacent to the recreation building and surrounded by a four-foot-high safety fence.
A .71-mile, four-foot-wide trail, meanwhile, will loop through the property, beginning and ending at the lodge, and passing around swamps and streams. The plan also features a storm water management system and construction of 18 additional parking spaces, including three that are ADA accessible, for a total of 53 including the current lot.
“Both properties have wetlands which have been identified and depicted on the prepared plans,” said Town Planner Raymond Goff in a note on the project. “In total, the proposed project will disturb less than an acre of land and will improve the existing amenities at this public playground.”
Goff told NRI NOW that the plan needs a recommendation from the Planning Board in order to go before RIDEM to obtain a wetlands permit. The lots are located in an R-40 zoning district, where public playgrounds are an allowed use, so no other town approvals are required.
DPW has requested that fees associated with the town-owned project be waived.
“I am recommending that the planning board approve the requested waiver as well as the
combined master/preliminary plan for this proposed project,” noted Goff. “Pending no further findings, I am further recommending that the final plan be reviewed by the administrative officer in order to expedite the development review process.”