Council To Review Plan For EG's Future
Hot-button issues include protecting the Hunt River Aquifer, placement of the Transfer Station, and support for a commuter rail station.
Monday night, the Town Council and Planning Board will meet to review the town's latest version of its Comprehensive Plan, a document meant to shine a light forward on future development of the town. Residents are encouraged to attend.
The state-mandated Comp Plan, as it's known, looks at every aspect of life in East Greenwich, from housing and economic development to open space and recreation with this question in mind: How do we want to handle X going forward?
Answers can be found in the 200-page draft plan linked here (it takes a minute or two to load but is worth the wait – it's much more user friendly than past comp plans). According to language in the plan, the town must make amendments to the EG Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map within 18 months of the plan's certification by the state.
Here's what could change under the new plan:
1. Adoption a Transit Oriented Development District. This has been stalled in the past because of resident concerns over the possible development of a commuter rail station.
2. Amendmnet the Zoning Ordinance to provide for Hunt River Aquifer protection in the area from Post Road to Route 4 in the south end of town. The HRA provides some of the town's drinking water, though the majority comes from the Scituate Reservoir.
3. Addition a wastewater management district to the Zoning Ordinance. This would suggest more frequent pumping, flushing, and septic system reconstruction of residential septic systems, but stop short of requiring specific deadlines.
4. Zone change of the Lillibridge Plat along Post Road. In the past, residents on that stretch of Post Road from Cedar Avenue to South Pierce Road have not supported a change to commercial development. Also, the Comp Plan would call for creation of a commuter rail advocacy group if it's determined to move forward on the plan.
5. Leaving language in the Comp Plan that would express the need for additional recreation fields. Town Planner Lisa Bourbonnais said mention of future fields would be needed to apply for outside money to make it happen.
6. Clarify waterfront access areas. There is some confusion as to where specifically the town rights of way sit. The plan would recommend a comprehensive waterfront survey be done.
7. Offering tax incentives to businesses looking to relocate in East Greenwich.
8. Possibly keep the door open to moving or eliminating the transfer station, despite strong support among some townspeople.
9. Right now, the Comp Plan only allows for "regionalization" of fire services but in November, voters approved the concept of merging the district and the town, so perhaps the plan should be amended to recognize both regionalization and consolidation as possibilities going forward.
The meeting will take place at Swift Community Center at 7 p.m. The agenda is attached, right.
Editor's note: This story was amended at 10:30 a.m. to reflect edit suggestions from Planning Department staff.