Plaintiff: Kelly M. Fracassa, Esq.
Defendant: Stephen J. Sypole, Esq.
Callaci (Mr. Callaci), an abutting landowner, appeals the
June 22, 2018 remand decision (Decision) of the Zoning Board
of Review of the Town of Exeter (Zoning Board), granting
Trade Wind Investments, LLC's petition for dimensional
variances to construct a house on property located at 350
William Reynolds Road, Exeter, Rhode Island. Jurisdiction is
pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 45-24-69. For the reasons set
forth herein, this Court affirms the Zoning Board's
Wind Investments, LLC (Trade Wind) of 567 South County Trail,
Suite 111, Exeter, Rhode Island submitted an application to
the Town of Exeter for dimensional relief for property
located at 350 William Reynolds Road, Exeter, Rhode Island
(the Property) on January 18, 2017. (Zoning Appl.) The
Property, owned by Carol J. Mann (Ms. Mann), consists of .65
acres or 28, 314 square feet. (Zoning Appl.) It is situated
in Zoning District CR-5 and is a preexisting, nonconforming
plot of land. (Zoning Appl.; Zoning Bd. Hr'g Tr. (Tr.)
11-12, Mar. 9, 2017. Trade Wind sought to construct a 1600
square foot, three bedroom, single-family dwelling on the
Property. (Decision; Zoning Appl.; Tr. 4.) The zoning
application requested dimensional relief "under Exeter
Zoning Ordinance, Article II, Section 18.104.22.168 (acreage);
22.214.171.124 (street frontage); 126.96.36.199 (front setback); 188.8.131.52
(left and right side setbacks)[;] and 184.108.40.206 (rear setback)
to construct a 3 bedroom single family dwelling."
(Decision; Zoning Appl.) Trade Wind specifically requested
the following dimensional relief:
(1)Min. lot area..................
(3)Min. front yard setback..........
(4)Min. right side yard setback.......
(5)Min. left side yard setback........
(6) Min. rear setback...............
public hearing was held by the Zoning Board on March 9, 2017.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Zoning Board granted
Trade Wind's application by a vote of four to one with
Board Member McMillan opposing Trade Wind's application.
(Tr. 74.) However, the decision granted the application by a
vote of five to zero. (Decision.) The approval was
conditioned on the building of the proposed dwelling in
accordance with the plans submitted to this Zoning Board on
the hearing date. (Tr. 72-74.)
Zoning Board recorded its written decision on March 24, 2017.
(Decision.) Mr. Callaci filed a timely appeal on April 12,
2017. The Zoning Board filed its objection on December 6,
April 4, 2018, after finding the decision insufficient for
judicial review for failing to identify how each individual
member voted, and because the decision lacked non-conclusory
findings of fact, this Court remanded this matter to the
Zoning Board for a new decision. The Zoning Board prepared
and recorded the new decision on June 27, 2018.
Callaci argues that Ms. Mann, and not Trade Wind, is the
applicant in this matter, and that she created her own
hardship by settling a case via a consent judgment that
reduced the size of the subject lot from 0.93 acres to 0.65
acres. He maintains that this Court should reconsider the
merits of the case underlying the consent judgment. Mr.
Callaci contends that the Zoning Board also erred by finding
that the plan was the least relief necessary and finding that
the plan did not impair the intent and purpose of the zoning
Zoning Board maintains that it lacks jurisdiction to question
the validity of a Superior Court judgment. The Zoning Board
avers that the proposed home's reasonable size and the
preexistence of a non-conforming lot does not impair the
intent of the ordinance and does not constitute more than the
least relief necessary.
45-24-69 provides the Superior Court with the specific
authority to review zoning board ...