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Rumstick Subdivision Proposed

Bluemead Farm would have nine single-family homes, including two affordable houses, off of Chachapacasset Road in the Rumstick area of Barrington.

A nine-lot subdivision of single-family homes, including two affordable houses, goes before the Barrington Planning Board for the first time tonight, Sept. 5.

Members of the Planning Board did walk the site off of Chachapacasset Road last week, said Town Planner Phil Hervey. The site borders a small pond off of Beach Road.

The subdivision, Bluemead Farm, is located on 13.6 acres of mostly vacant land. It is being proposed by the Blumead Family L.P., of 211 Rumstick Road, Barrington.

The land is covered by trees and brush and holds only two small horse barns right now, according to plans drawn up by David D. Gardner & Associates of Warwick.

Eight of the homes will be built off of a new 623 foot-long road, Bluemead Lane, that will start at Chachapacasset Road and end at a cul de sac. The other home will have a driveway off of Chachapacasset.

The plans call for the preservation and protection of existing trees and woodlands. A stormwater collection area in a natural depression will be planted with native evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and wetland grace, according to the plan.

The development will have water, gas and sewer lines, according to the plans.

The two affordable houses are mandated by the town’s inclusionary zoning regulations, said Hervey.

The Planning Board will meet in the Council Chamber in Town Hall at 7 pm.

Gary Morse September 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM
"The two affordable houses are mandated by the town’s inclusionary zoning regulations, said Hervey" Mr. Hervey is correct! But these local "town" ordinances do not conform to the state mandates, but instead were created out of the minds of Councilor's Speakman and Weymouth. They are an unnecessary additional property tax burden to residents. Mr. Hervey, can you please explain to Barrington residents why you, as Town Planner, have ignored the full statutory requirement to include the "Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004" into the Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan as mandated under RI Law? This is creating a huge problem for the residents in how you are counting affordable homes in town. We would like an explanation. And could you please also explain why you are taking legal advice solely from a law firm who is also representing the affordable developers.
James September 05, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I really do not understand Barrington's obsession with affordable housing. Can someone explain it to me like I am 5?
Bob Shea September 05, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Inclusionary zoning laws! You mean government subsidized, socialist housing policy. There are plenty of affordable homes in that neighborhood; just take a walk down Highland, Fales or a portion of Lewis. I agree, Weymouth and Speakman's socialist bent is adding to the tax burden of every citizen in Barrington
Ignorance is not bliss September 05, 2012 at 01:33 PM
It is an election year! Time to change our town council. Both Weymouth and Speakman are up for relection. I would like to know how the other candidates running for town council feel about this affordable housing nightmare.
Gary Morse September 05, 2012 at 01:53 PM
James, There were affordable housing laws on the books for a long time, but in the time frame leading up to 2004, RI real estate was appreciating faster than any other place in the nation (ref. Federal Reserve data). A complete overhaul of the prior RI laws was done in 2004 to address the problematic growth of McMansion's. The new statutes required that each town create a Comprehensive Community Plan that recognized the statutory goals under the "Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004" and the "Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act". But the cross references of these two Acts were a statutory rats nest leaving the law largely in the eye of the beholder. Thus if an affordable proponent were reading the law, one could easily derive a proponents view of the mandate. When Councilor's Speakman and Weymouth tackled the creation of the local town ordinances, they created a version of the RI law complimentary to their own views. As long as the State of RI accepted these views in the form of an approved "Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan", the local ordinances were fine. There was no absolute court approved way to implement. In 2008, the real estate market collapsed and the actual problem self corrected. But we still have the legacy of the S & W Affordable Plan. The S & W plan rests on their belief that only deed restricted homes can count as affordable homes. The statutes do not mandate this, but they do.
Terry Coffey September 05, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Bob could you fill me in on the goverment subsidized housing policy in those neighborhoods I live on Highland West, and would love more info on these homes
Ignorance is not bliss September 05, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Can it be confirmed at the state level that non-deed restricted homes under a certain dollar amount can count towards the affordable housing number?
Gary Morse September 05, 2012 at 02:13 PM
James, You can also reference the quote to Councilor DeWitt in the July 30, 2012 Town Council meeting by attorney Nancy Letendre (Ursillo Law Firm). "There's a lot of attorney's whose livelihood depends on these fuzzy clauses here." (sic) The quote was to address Councilor DeWitt's question on the tax subsidies being provided to Sweetbriar as previously voted on and approved in 2008 by Councilors Speakman and Weymouth.
Gary Morse September 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Bliss, Best to read what the statutes actually say on this. The "Rhode Island Low and Moderate Income Housing Act" calls for counting only deed restricted homes when counting under that specific Act. But the "Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004" only specifies counting homes regardless of a deed restriction. I refer to town attorney Nancy Letendre's comment on matters of affordable housing: "There's a lot of attorney's whose livelihood depends on these fuzzy clauses here." (sic) see: 7-30-2012 TC meeting, recorded at 2hrs 57 mins 30 sec
steve primiano September 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM
As Chairman of the Barrington Republican Town Committee I can tell you that all three Republican Town Council candidates (Shirley Applegate-Lockridge, Don Nessing, and Margaret Kane) are opposed to the way the law is being implemented in Barrington. Short of our ultimate goal of getting it repealed at the State level, we need to elect people who will work to mitigate the negative consequences of the current law. The law is bad for Town finances, bad for property values, and,most importantly, bad our schools. The Republican candidates represent a philosophical difference on the role of local government, and offer the voters a clear choice in November.
B/STOCK September 05, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Thanks Steve. You have our votes.
Ignorance is not bliss September 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Wonderful news that we wil have the opportunity to elect new town council members who will do what is best for the town not their own interests. Big concern is that the election is in November, the town is scheduling a special meeting in late September for Pre-Application Submittal of Proposed Sowams Nursery Development. They are going to try to push this through before they lose their seat on the council.
Allison September 05, 2012 at 08:40 PM
secretly happy that affordable housing will infiltrate Rumstick : ) hope they all go to Nayatt : ) there is a great big world out there Barrington and here they come : )
CommitteetoElectPeterCostaJr September 05, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Lets Return Housing Policy Back to the Town so we can have policy that works for Barrington residents (senior housing, open space, parks, etc...) http://barrington.patch.com/articles/return-housing-control-to-town
Manifold Witness September 05, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Another "Farm" to be developed in Barrington?! But a development by any other name (such as "Farm") is still one step closer to total build-out. Barrington used to have a part-time planning function. Back then, some folks felt that the town was already close to being built out and so the town didn't need to burden the taxpayers with a full time planner salary & benefits. Some felt that a full time planner would be planning build-out full time. But the government did not agree and a full time planner was hired. There are a number of perceived problems with all the build-out, including that the remaining wild life in Barrington seems seriously challenged. More than ever, wild animals are being forced out of their natural habitat and into the residential gardens. They are hungry. They go looking for food. They end up dead. It's sad. Is there still such a thing as a moratorium on municipal development? When might such a thing apply in Barrington? Maybe it's time for Barrington government take a little break to resolve certain issues, including any conflicts of interest, the true environmental impact, and perceived problems with the implementation and impacts of the so-called “statutory mandates”? Kate Weymouth & June Speakman have rushed & rushed & pushed for all this build-out but they don't seem to have properly considered all the implications. Adding the word "Farm" to the name of the development isn't fooling anyone... 'cept maybe Allison. :-)
Lorraine F September 05, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Glad you mention that Allison. Affordable housing is already planned for my side of Barrington (the meadows). The Rumstick Nayatt crowd think they sit on land that's too expensive to make affordable housing work financially, so why worry. They had better think again. From what I gather, the zoning rules can be bent the moment you use the fuzzy term "affordable housing". High density cheap condos sell even better when they sit on a couple of prime acres in Rumstick. The whole point of throwing in a couple of affordable units is that this gets you a waiver on many existing zoning rules. BTW, does the Country Club still have to meet the Speakman / Weymouth diversity requirements to get a town liquor licence? What happened to that initiative?
C. Anderson September 06, 2012 at 11:44 PM
No more houses! ANYWHERE - except rebuilds. Enough is enough.
Barbara Donovan September 07, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Before we close the door to more building - please let's think about our seniors !! Today I was at a field hockey game in town watching my granddaughter play and many young mothers came up to me to discuss the Sr. housing problem. Every one of them was in favor, as are, most of the seniors and members of town boards and elected officials. I have come to the decision that we must put a MORATORIUM on any further development of land until we have : CHALLENGED THE STATE MANDATE !! AND WON !! Share your thoughts -----
Gary Morse September 07, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Barbara, I like the idea of a senior housing project FOR RESIDENTS! The major problem is that once you ask for any state or federal funding, you generally open up access to "any person from anywhere", and I do mean anywhere. Funding is the issue. As far as challenging the state mandate, no challenge is needed. All that is actually needed is to vote in new council members who fulfill their duty to apply all the affordable statutes, not just the ones they want to pick from. The Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan is statutorily mandated to fulfill two RI laws, but our Town Planner only wants to fulfill one. Missing from Barrington's Comprehensive Community Plan is the recognition of "Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004". This Act requires no deed restriction when counting affordable homes. So remember, it will only take new council members who will do their duty to apply all the laws, not just the ones that advantage their own point of view.
Barbara Donovan September 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Maybe you are right - if it would help, perhaps we can rally around and fight to unseat those who chose not to be more flexible. Count me in and I will speak to all those who support the cause !! Meanwhile, I believe that if we fight hard enough we can get a zoning change that restricts certain areas for senior housing. The planning board can make such changes and I know it would be supported by ALL the residents of Barrington !! I wonder how the Zoning board would feel about doing that ?

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