CUMBERLAND – The Planning Board last week approved amending a preliminary plan for developer Jim McKee’s Hidden Meadows residential project near the Diamond Hill Reservoir.

Instead of installation of lights for phase one of the project being required to secure building permits for phase two, McKee now will be allowed to pay the Partnership for Rhode Island Streetlight Management in advance, to the satisfaction of the director of public works, said Planning and Community Development Director Jonathan Stevens.

The board also determined that the final pavement coat for the phase one loop road is satisfactory, said Stevens. McKee will not be required to put down a final coat on the road area leading to phase two until later because of the use of the road by heavy construction vehicles.

The Planning Board previously made a condition that McKee finish phase one of the project, where there are three homes, before he can start phase two work on 20 more homes across a nearby stream.

McKee has a punch list of items the DPW has to sign off on, including relocating a non-functioning drainage pipe, before he can file a final plan and have it approved and have it recorded with the town clerk to then apply for building permits. The Fire Department is also specifying that he must install a 15,000-gallon cistern.

As with a number of McKee’s developments, Hidden Meadows has been a target of criticism from residents who live in phase one of the project, located off Hidden Meadows Drive. The Breeze previously reported on consternation among residents and town officials over clear-cutting of trees on the phase two portion of the project, but members of a new administration subsequently decided that the town’s ordinances weren’t strong enough to crack down on the developer.