2 Developments – 138 Units Total – Get Go Ahead

by | Sep 5, 2019

Above: The Imperial, a 38-unit development planned for the vacant land behind the American Legion post on Main Street.

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The Planning Board approved two housing developments Wednesday night, a 38-unit complex known as The Imperial on Greenwich Boulevard and a 96-unit all-affordable complex on South County Trail. 

Both developers were able to apply for a “comprehensive permit,” which provides a fast track through the town’s approval process by consolidating everything before the Planning Board. The state allows comprehensive permitting for developments that will provide 20 percent or more affordable housing units in an effort to reward such proposals and increase the overall number of affordable units.

What will be the entrance for Brookside Terrace on South County Trail.

By state law, municipalities are supposed to have 10 percent of their housing stock in the affordable category. East Greenwich’s affordable percentage is 4.6 percent. To reach 10 percent, East Greenwich would need to add 290 units, according to HousingWorksRI. (Affordable housing is not the same as low- to moderate-income housing. Rather, for home ownership, it is calculated to serve people who make less than 120 percent of the median income for, in this case, Kent County.) 

The Imperial, which is planned for land behind the American Legion post on Main Street, will be comprised of one- and two-bedroom condominiums, 10 affordable units and 28 market rate.

Brookside Terrace, which is proposed for land behind and between Ocean State Veterinary Specialists and the Lifespan Medical building. As an all-affordable development, it is by far the largest seen in East Greenwich since the building of Shoreside Apartments on 6th Avenue, an East Greenwich Housing Authority property. It will be comprised of one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental apartments targeted to people with Section 8 vouchers. 

The proposed Brookside Terrace.

The comprehensive permit process does not allow the Planning Board to consider the impact on town services (including schools). Rental units, also, are not subject to town-imposed impact fees. So it is not yet known what impact these developments will have on EG schools. The school district is conducting a demographic study of East Greenwich and is in touch with the town’s Planning Department.

Both projects are at least a year out from any finished units. Read more about Brookside Terrace here.


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2 Comments

  1. Marie Hennedy

    In my view an ideal community needs to be not a millionaires’ ghetto but a place where a wide range of responsible families can afford to grow up and grow old together.

    East Greenwich has done a pretty good job of offering more-than-decent affordable housing for the elderly and disabled (as well as for many families of modest means), and we’ve done so ever since the 1970’s when I was honored to serve on our Housing Authority. But we’ve long needed a lot more affordable housing for most everyone else! So I am thankful for this well-sited new 96-unit development out on Route 2 called Brookside Terrace.

    And I hope that residents who fear a sort-of South Providence Roger Williams Housing Project (torn down years ago, it was a sad example of America’s racially segregated post-WWII ‘answer’ to the need for affordable housing — white GI’s got suburban mortgages) will realize that times and federal programs have changed. Affordable rental housing — the “Section 8” kind with a capital “A” wherein families of modest means pay no more than 30% of their monthly income for rent and utilities — must by law be well maintained by both tenants and landlords! After all, our federal tax dollars make up that other 70% subsidy — an intelligent investment in building viable communities.

    So if you’re worried about Brookside Terrace, I recommend that you get to know more of your neighbors, especially the fine people whose rental homes our EG Housing Authority has administered so ably for so many years. I bet you know many already, for they’re among the folks you meet at our local supermarkets, at schools, at churches and book clubs and ballgames. They’re among the people like you and like me who have long made East Greenwich such a nice community to live in.

    Reply
  2. Camille Speca

    What I don’t like is fast tracking these developments without consideration for how it will impact the town, and town services.

    Reply

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