Above: A rendering of what the neighborhood off Division Road would look like, by architectural firm Union Studio.
By Elizabeth F. McNamara
The Planning Board Wednesday night will hear a preliminary application for a 418-unit development off Division Road across from Westfield Drive. The proposal marks the largest development the town has seen in decades, perhaps ever. It is in the conceptual stage, with several steps to complete before a shovel would hit the dirt.
Applicant Ned Capozzi of Modern Industries, a Providence company, is the developer. The project echoes in size and scope a project off Post Road in North Kingstown called Reynolds Farm. *
The Division Road plan includes four 4-story apartment buildings that would contain 34 units per building; 72 2-story “manor houses” – smaller apartment buildings – with 6 units each; and 210 single-family homes. The approximate total number of bedrooms would be 836. Access into and out of the development would be via Division Road.
The plan calls for 136 of the units to be deemed “affordable” allowing the developer to seek a comprehensive permit. Comp permits are faster than regular development permits because everything is done by the Planning Board (one-stop shopping, so to speak). Any developer is required to make 10 percent of the total number of their units deed-restricted affordable; if an applicant bumps up that percentage to 25 percent, they are eligible to apply for a comp permit.
Comp permitting is the state’s way to promote the creation of more affordable housing. Each community is mandated by the state to get to where 10 percent of their housing is affordable. East Greenwich stands at 4.7 percent right now (although there are at least 138 affordable housing units currently under construction in town and those are not included in this percentage).
So, what happens Wednesday night? The applicant will explain what they are planning and Planning Board members will respond and offer comments and guidance to help the applicant with their Master Plan submission. To reiterate, this is a conceptual discussion. Much of the necessary engineering and things like traffic studies are part of the Master Plan submission, not this pre-application process. Also, this is not a public hearing (that comes later), so taking public comment is at the discretion of the Planning Board chair.
Here’s what the town Planning Department staff had to say about potential impacts:
Town residents along Division Road, especially in the Westfield Drive area, have expressed interest in this development and are particularly concerned about traffic impacts. The presentation of a traffic impact analysis at Master Plan will be important. Residents are also concerned about fiscal impacts, especially with some town services, particularly the school system, already being overburdened. As the development concept comes more acutely into view, the town will need to fully understand the total bedroom count here and whether or not any units will be age-restricted so that we can better assess fiscal impacts. The Town will work to refine and clarify the extent of public improvements to infrastructure and utilities, both off-site and on, that will occur as a result of this development. Examples might include roadway, intersection and signalization work, stormwater management system upgrades, etc. The developer’s willingness to provide on-site public amenities like park space or recreation facilities will also be part of that consideration.
Find the agenda for Wednesday night’s Zoom meeting HERE. You can find the plans and other information by referring to the submitted documents on the town’s website HERE.
* Correction: We mistakenly said applicant Ned Capozzi was the developer of Reynolds Farm in North Kingstown. The Reynolds Farm developer is Kirk Pickell. We regret the error.
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Interested in future of this development. Thanks
Where & how is all this new traffic going to fit in? That’s potentially 836 more vehicles in that area.
Good question. Stay tuned.
You won’t be able to stop it….there is a acceptable amount of affordable housing, such as it is.
And around the corner Crompton road gets 200 more…no thanks
Not to mention what it’s going to do to our schools, and town services🤦🏻♀️ We’ll have to build all new schools.
All news schools? Really? How do you figure? I agree it would increase the student population, but that’s about 6% of the population of E.G., which translates to about 1.5 incremental students per classroom. Will it need to be accommodated? Certainly. All new schools? Hardly. And remember that it will create an additional property tax basis which will help contribute to schools and other town services.
I’d love to see more affordable housing stock developed as a way to encourage a more diverse population but isn’t there some piece of already partially developed/infrastructured land they could utilize, rather than going into yet another wooded area and completely denuding it? That Reynolds Farm development in NK is an abomination, very similar to the mess that was put in on Middle Road heading towards EGHS.
Additionally, there are enough near accidents at Shippeetown/Division with people who don’t understand how to properly navigate a 4-way intersection, if they put in a development of this size they’d have to put in a stoplight.
What is the mess you refer to on Middle Road heading towards EGHS?
If you’re heading south east on Middle Rd. towards EGHS, it’s the housing development just before you get to the overpass, next to ON Semiconductor. Ugly urban sprawl at its worst, imo.
Got it. It’s called Middleberry, I believe.
Yes, Keith…abomination! Why?
Our beautiful EastGreenwich destroyed by developers!
Thank you for your thoughts!
How about no.
agree 100% with Keith
Just perfect, first medical waste processing plant at 1600 Division Road and within 2 miles this?
Who is going to be rushing and lining up to buy with a medical waste neighbor ?
Any thoughts from the residents of Division and the neighborhoods in that area?
So Mr Capozzi also owns the abandoned antique yellow house near Circ. He is demolishing it thru neglect. He should be required to fix it if he is given any permits to build elsewhere
I lived in Charlestown for 12 years, worked in management and law enforcement for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I took a transfer to the Regional Office in western Massachusetts in 2009, so obviously, I have “no dog in this fight”. But we return to South County often and my wife and family are native Rhode Islanders…and I spent over a decade of my career helping to protect what makes South County unique. And I get the argument that federal land ownership is not always welcome to the local tax base….but just this week, we visited. And South Shore Village 55+ community, is not only ugly, homes appear cheaply built…but it appears as we drove through no protective covenants….or at least none that are enforced. Retired now, my wife and I are looking for a 55+ community conducive to our life style….this is definitely NOT it. And I can’t help but wonder that the organized crime mentality that once was prevalent in Rhode Island politics, still exists. I saw this place and the first name that came to me was “Fiore”. This “Southern California-looking cookie-stamp” development is shamefully ugly. Driving through during our visit…. I couldn’t get the hell out of there fast enough. Shame on you, South Kingstown. Those homes will not stand the test of time…..anymore than Tuckertown did.
Can we not do this? I really like the neighborhood we have now and it will just get worse. Then all of those trees/wood area that I like to walk in with my dogs and friends just gone.