Block Island Times

Stairway to nowhere

The Zoning Board finally heard the application for a special use permit and a variance to build a staircase to provide maintenance access to the proposed shoreline stabilization project at the Marino property, Plat 8, Lot 42. The application had been floating around for nearly two years as studies were done and surveys performed, including a hydrogeologic report.
“It’s a stairway to nowhere,” Member Robert Lamoureux said, after confirming that the staircase will not extend down to the beach.“We want to stabilize the bluffs with plants. It is about 150 feet of stabilization and the stairs extend 50 feet over the steepest part. Coastal Resources Management Council recommends access over bluffs be with elevated stairs only,” project manager Matt Lundstead told the board.
Though the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board had both provided favorable advisories, the Planning Board had made a few suggestions at its July 14 meeting.
“The Planning Board made four recommendations,” Town Solicitor Bill Landry told the Zoning Board. Landry went on to explain that the Planning Board wanted to see salt-tolerant native plants being used and wanted the contractors to use the lightest construction equipment possible.The board also requested the applicant use aluminum

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