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Marina Subdivision Gets Final OK

The Barrington Planning Board gives the final approval for a 10-house subdivision in Bay Spring on vacant land at the former Lavin's marina.

The “final plan” for a 10-house subdivision on the corner of Woodbine and Narragansett avenues at the former Lavin’s marina in Bay Spring has been approved by the Barrington Planning Board.

The approval came on Tuesday evening, July 10, and was unanimous, according to Town Planner Phil Hervey.

Groundbreaking for the subdivision can start at any time now, Hervey said.

The subdivision will include 10 homes in an L-shaped configuration with frontage on both streets. Two of the homes qualify as affordable housing.

“It’s the first inclusionary project in Barrington,” said Hervey, meaning that 20 percent of the project must be affordable housing.

The developer of the marina project is Ruggiero Properties, owned by Joseph Ruggiero of Barrington, who bought the marina in December, 2010 for $2.3 million. He spent another million dollars to dredge the cove, install a new bulkhead of fiberglass vinyl seaward of the old timber bulkhead, and build a new boat ramp.

Ruggiero also announced then that he wanted to build a housing project in the vacant land off of Narragansett Avenue. The land has been vacant for several years.

Paul Carlson, vice president of InSite Engineering, Seekonk, Mass., has been developing the project for Ruggiero. An attempt to reach him about a timetable for construction was not successful.

Gary Morse July 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM
The Town Council has been remiss in not demanding an impact study from the Planning Board on the growth of property tax subsidized affordable housing. We as residents are the ones subsidizing the property taxes, not the state. The town attorney cannot get their statutory facts straight on this. In a recent memorandum provided to the town council dated yesterday, in order to make the tax subsidies look legal, they changed the wording of the actual statutory language. In the July 11, 2012 memorandum sent to the town council on this matter titled "The Scope of Rhode Island General Laws § 44-5-13.11 Tax Scheme", the word "rehabilitation" was replaced with the word "improvements" in the memorandum. The actual statute § 44-5-13.11 references only rehabilitated properties as requiring property tax discounts. But our town attorney seems content to expand the scope with the more sponge-able term "improvements" stating that when affordable houses are built on land, the land is thus "improved". These property tax discounts are the main reason high density housing is now showing up in every corner of Barrington. Lack of an impact study on the property tax discounts is a huge future problem for residents.
marina peterson July 12, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Definition of "substantial rehabilitation" is not open for discussion. It is given on the HUD site under Rehabilitation: Substantial Rehabilitation. Required repairs, replacements, and improvements: 1. Involve the replacement of two or more major building components or, 2. Cost of which exceeds either: a. 15 percent (exclusive of any soft costs) of the property's replacement cost (fair market value) after completion of all required repairs, replacements, and improvements. or b. $6,500 per dwelling unit (adjusted by the Field Office's authorized high cost percentage) Link is at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh/4460.1/44601c4HSGH.pdf You will see that further down, 4-3 Architectural Processing - it calls for drawings or sketches of existing buildings. The aforementioned substitution of "improvements" for "rehabilitation" changes the entire scope of the project. Is that by design? Oversight?
Ignorance is not bliss July 12, 2012 at 06:51 PM
It is by design. The town made their position very clear at the Affordable Housing Public Forum held in May. They do not do rehabs because they are hard to do, they encourage dense housing projects because that's what is easy. The town is doing what is easy not what is best. Rehabs would benefit both the town and the neighbors, dense housing projects only benefit the developers.
Gary Morse July 12, 2012 at 07:50 PM
What the town leaders don't want to face is that each of these projects, other than Walker Farm, are to be deed restricted only for a period of 30 years. At the end of 30 years, they then go to full priced condo's without any restrictions. Then the cycle of meeting 10% starts all over again. It is an ill conceived law subsidized by local residents that benefits developers and investors more than anyone.

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