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Barrington Subdivision Gets Another Nod

The Planning Board reaches a consensus that indicates the master plan for 'Bluemead Farm' in Rumstick, with three affordable homes, will be approved next month.

The “Bluemead Farm” subdivision in Rumstick got another nod from the Barrington Planning Board Wednesday night, Jan. 2.

There were some definite concerns raised by members of the board, a member of the Housing Board of Trustees and affordable-housing critic Gary Morse about the location of the affordable housing units on the nine-lot, 13.6-acre site off of Chachapacasset and Beach Roads.

But the six members of the Planning Board at the meeting in Town Hall reached a consensus that is expected to lead to a vote to approve the master plan at the next meeting in February. Chairman Mike McCormick asked Town Planner Phil Hervey to draft a motion for approval. 

The plan presented Wednesday night by engineer David Gardiner and attorney Bruce Cox was an “alternative application” that boosted by one unit to three the number of affordable homes in the subdivision. The affordable units will be built as a single-family home and a two-unit duplex.

The two lots set aside for the affordable homes both sit off of Chachapacasset Road. The lots are not seen as being integrated into the subdivision as both Barrington and state law mandate. 

Molly Lee, a member of the Housing Board, said she does not feel that the developer, Bluemead Family L.P. of 211 RumstickRoad, is blending in the affordable units so they would not be recognizable from the market-rate homes to be built on the other seven lots.

Morse said he believes the development is in direct violation of the law, which mandates that affordable homes be integrated throughout the development. He also questioned the “timing” of the construction of the affordable homes, which under the law are to “be built and occupied prior to or simultaneous with the construction and occupancy of any market rate units.”

Andrew Teitz, the solicitor for the Planning Board, said restrictions can be imposed that address the timing, location and architectural style of the affordable units. But the board walks a fine line of imposing restrictions that are so onerous that they might be ignored. 

McCormick indicated that a vote of approval next month might involve placing some restrictions or conditions on the developer for the affordable homes.

The subdivision previously was referred to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission for a possible archeological study because it sits adjacent to a spring-fed pond along Beach Road that dates back to pre-Colonial days.

A response from the heritage commission indicates that although there is a reasonable assumption that the site might have some historic significance, it did not advise that an archeological study be completed.

The development’s infrastructure – water, sewer and utilities – will be built by the developer. The subdivision includes a new 623-foot long street at Lewis Street that ends at a cul de sac.

Kristine January 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM
with probably 1/2 of the homes still for sale at Walker Farm I'm not sure how those that are pushing for another affordable housing project think they will sell those homes anyway.
Fred Diel January 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM
@Lorraine. I would not have even known you were a Democrat. It doesn't matter what party you are affiliated with or not affiliated with. Hopefully you didn't vote straight party ticket. By your passion for personnel property rights it looks to me you did not. In regards to your statements about Counselors Strong and Coyne. Words or phrases mean nothing. Only actions and results. The problem with the whole affordable housing is that it was legislated by the Progressive Republican and Democrats in the RI general assembly. If you have time you should read the following book by a Liberal Democrat Harriot Parke. Agenda 21
Lorraine F January 06, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Fred, Most Democrats are in favor of private property rights in the the same way most Republicans endorse the "velocity of money" economic theory (i.e the economy runs more efficiently when those at the top are not hoarding the cash). Call me a moderate Democrat who also believes that hard work deserves it's privileges. Taking a line from an earlier comment, thank you for your service to our country, and for the hard work of campaigning in the last election.
Seth Milman January 08, 2013 at 02:29 PM
For all those interested: JOINT MEETING BARRINGTON PLANNING BOARD BARRINGTON TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE BARRINGTON HOUSING BOARD OF TRUSTEES 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Library Auditorium Gallery Room, Barrington Public Library 281 County Road, Barrington, RI AGENDA 1. Call Meeting to Order 2. Housing Board: Approve Minutes - December 18, 2012 Meeting 3. Pre-Application Meeting: Palmer Pointe Neighborhood – Plat 28, Lots 72, 73, 246, 248, 249 and 263 (Sowams Nursery property, east side of Sowams Road). Development of 48 new affordable housing units on property totaling approximately 7.5 acres. Proposal would be filed under the comprehensive permit process. 4. Adjourn The Town of Barrington will provide accommodations needed to ensure equal participation in all meetings. Please contact the Town Clerk’s office prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made to provide such assistance. A request for accommodations can be made in writing to 283 County Road or by calling 401-247-1900, Ext. 301 (voice) or call 711 “Relay” if you are a TDY OR TDD user. The Barrington Town Hall, Barrington Public Library and Barrington Public Safety Building are accessible to the disabled. Posted on January 8, 2013 at Barrington Town Hall, Barrington Public Library, the Town of Barrington Website and the R.I. Secretary of State Website
Gary Morse January 08, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Two important questions on affordable housing should be addressed at this meeting: 1) Why hasn't the Planning Board pushed back on the issue that RI Housing demands that only "deed restricted" houses count in the 10% mandate? When the RI Supreme Court recently ruled on the "fee-in-lieu" question for affordable developers, they looked at the affordable definitions under the Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004 and said: "First, § 42-128-8.1(d)(2)-(3) provides definitions for the terms “[a]ffordable housing plan” and “[a]pproved affordable housing plan” as used in the Comprehensive Housing Production and Rehabilitation Act of 2004, but these statutory subsections make no reference to the imposition of fees." http://www.courts.ri.gov/Courts/SupremeCourt/OpinionsOrders/opinions/09-93.pdf The same definitions section, § 42-128-8.1(d)(1) defines "Affordable Housing", and equally, makes no reference to the words "deed restriction". http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title42/42-128/42-128-8.1.HTM Why hasn't the Planning Board asked RI Housing about this deed restriction requirement given the recent statements by the RI Supreme Court? 2) Will the Planning Board make their decision for Palmer Pointe with a requirement that EBCDC first get town council approval for the property tax abatement's?

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