Planning committee recommends zoning for Westerly farm property | West

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WESTERLY – The planning committee recommends that the city council approve a zoning move from open space / recreation to rural residential, which is envisaged by the owner of the property on Moorhouse Road. It is unclear how the property was classified as open space.

According to a memorandum from city planner Nancy E. Letendre and chief planner Alyse Oziolor and comments from Thomas J. Landowner Stano Trombino is hoping to build a house and return the 109 acre property at 119 Moorehouse Road for use as a farm Liguori Jr., the attorney representing Trombino. The board voted 6-0 during a meeting on Tuesday in favor of a positive recommendation to the city council, which is expected to hold a public hearing on Trombino’s petition to change zones during its November 8th session.

The proposed zone change was discussed during work on the revision of the municipal master plan, which was approved in its revised form earlier this year. During the revision process, Trombino requested a change to the plan’s future land use map to reflect his plans for a later new zone.

Trombino, a retired Western police officer, bought the property from the Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence in 2011. Letendre said city officials believe the property was once viewed as a potential site for a Catholic school. When Trombino acquired the property, it was classified as a low-density home ownership and included a dilapidated farmhouse that was demolished shortly after the purchase. Trombino granted the Westerly Land Trust a right of first refusal in 2011 should the property or part of it ever be offered for sale.

According to the memorandum, city officials were unable to find any documents describing a process of reallocating the property from residential to open space / recreation, which led to the belief that it was falsely classified.

Liguori read a letter from Martha Holland, the granddaughter of the Moorehouse family, who sold the property to the bishop. The letter described the family’s use of the property as a dairy farm from the 1920s to 1965. According to Holland’s letter, Trombino repaired stone walls on the property, dredged a pond, removed dead trees and planted new apple and blueberry bushes.

The property is mainly surrounded by rural residential areas with single family homes, farmland and nature reserves. Immediately north of the property along Moorhouse Road is 73.14 acres of wildlife sanctuary owned by the Westerly Land Trust. To the east of the site are two other lots totaling approximately 130 acres owned by the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island. The Trombino Sports Complex, a zoned open space, adjoins the property to the west and includes several baseball fields on the south side of the street.

Trombino submitted eight letters of support from neighboring property owners, including the Westerly Land Trust. He hopes to be able to pass the property on to his daughter, according to the town planners’ memorandum.


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