WOONSOCKET â€” The Zoning Board of Review on Monday heard testimony on a proposed redevelopment of the former St. Francis House assisted living residence into 18 residential apartments and scheduled a decision on the matter for its next meeting on July 23.
The property's owner, city developer and business owner Gary Fernandes, is seeking to increase an earlier plan for 8 residential units in the five-level distinctive 167 Blackstone Street brick building through conversion of more of the building's available space, according to the proposal's architect, Dan Peloquin.
The new design would include apartments in the lower level of the building as well as two large apartments in the attic area. The upper level apartments would be created through the addition of roof dormers to provide windows for the new residential spaces, according to Peloquin.
Before voting 3-2 to table the matter for a decision on July 23, the zoners heard an overview of the proposal by Lloyd Gariepy, a local attorney representing the developer, and also opposition from local residents who argued the city should avoid increasing its available rental housing stock given the current number of existing subsidized units and vacant units.
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