NARRAGANSETT — A large group of community members gathered at the town hall on Monday evening to voice their stance regarding the proposed relocation of Narragansett Bikes to 922 Boston Neck Road. The property, currently owned by Raymond J. Giusti, has been the topic of scrutiny over the past months because of the zoning issues which have been brought to the attention of the Planning Board and town council.
Narragansett Bikes have entered upon a sales agreement to purchase the approximately 60,000 square foot property at 922 Boston Neck Road, but the site is currently identified on the town’s Land-Use and Zoning Map as low-density residential. In order for Narragansett Bikes to build a new location there, the town council must approve amending the town’s Land-Use and Zoning maps to a commercial designation in accordance with the Planning Board’s recommendations.
A public hearing was held Monday evening at the regular town council meeting in order for Narragansett Bikes to state its case for the zoning change. Matt Brodziony, principal owner of Narragansett Bikes, and his attorney, Donald J. Packer, detailed their plans for the property to the town council. They cited the commercial usage of surrounding lots along Boston Neck Road, along with Narragansett Bikes’ desire to remain a locally successful business in Narragansett, as reasons to approve the zoning change.
“The zoning at present doesn’t conform with the Land-Use map, and changes in the Comprehensive Plan and zoning designation would be consistent with the future plans of the town,” said Packer. “We are in no way trying to overdevelop the site from a zoning perspective. My clients don’t own the property and have already invested a considerable amount of money.”
Town council members gave their input on the potential relocation, with some sympathizing with Brodziony’s desire to move to a more accommodating location and recognizing his business’s overall value to the economy of the town. Others expressed their concerns for the ‘spot-zoning’ of one single piece of property with further analysis by the town.
“The biggest issue I have is on Boston Neck Road, where there are a lot of things going on,” said Councilwoman Susan Cicilline-Buonanno. “When I drive up to the north end, there is no method to its planning, and I struggle with the vision of the town of Narragansett.”
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