The 410-unit residential development proposed for Division Road between Westfield Drive and Moosehorn Road is the only item on the agenda at the Technical Review Committee meeting Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at Town Hall. (Find the agenda HERE.)
The project had been in a holding pattern for several months, stalled as the developers had been trying to secure a “letter of sewer availability” from the town of Coventry. They received that letter earlier this winter and they have finally moved forward with their plan.
Developer Ned Capozzi needs to tie in the project to the West Warwick wastewater treatment facility via Coventry since East Greenwich does not have sewer lines in that part of town. (Coventry purchased an allotment of capacity in West Warwick some years ago.) The letter from Coventry offers a way forward for Capozzi. The sewer link is critical if the developer is going to keep to 410 units. “They can use septic but the density would be decreased significantly and the lot sizes would expand to accommodate the required separation from each septic system,” said Town Planner Al Ranaldi.
There is no Zoom link for this meeting. The Technical Review Committee is made up of town officials; they will offer a review of the plan to the Planning Board. The Planning Board is the panel with the statutory power to weigh the application. They will hold a public hearing on the application Wednesday, April 19, tentatively set for Swift Community Center.
The review deadline has been extended to April 30 by the developer. If the Planning Board does not make a decision by then, the developer’s plan can be enacted as is.
This project will be the beginning of total chaos in EG. There is no way that Division road can safely support an extra 1,000+ cars a day. Our schools are not prepared- and can’t plan with this in mind- to grow by 10%+ in this sub-division alone. The wildlife impact will be immediate and thousands of habitats will be destroyed. No where else in EG is this population dense, except off Main Street which has business and infrastructure to support it. The size of the development needs to be at least cut in half to decrease the damage it will do.
The developer, Ned Capozzi, is not concerned about the destruction in his wake- and he doesn’t live in EG to suffer the result of this over development.
When the master plan said that area should be zoned for residential they didn’t intend for this dense of a project that would increase town size this dramatically in such a small land parcel. Now that there is also 100+ acres for sale off of Middle road, if it suffers this same fate it will make that part of EG a complete mess with abysmal traffic, an overrun public works, and overcrowded school district. Borrowing services for waste and water shows it can’t support this development. Please show up in large numbers to show the review committee and planning board that we can’t do this to our town!!
Let’s assume that 700 people will occupy those 400 units. That’a a conservative estimate.
The population of EG is approximately 14,000.
So, that is a 5% increase in the town’s population – from this one development.
Just think about that.
And imagine what it’s going to do to the traffic on Division Street. It will be a nightmare that can’t be undone or solved by a re-engineering of the roads and 95 ramps.
The question for the council is whether they represent the interest of people of EG or the developer.
FYI, the Planning Board, a panel of town residents appointed by the Town Council, is the body that will be deciding this project. The Town Council will not be voting on it.
Where is EG news with interviewing our legislators Caldwell and Valverde and our so called respected Town Councilors on this project?
Why is there no fight from them on this project. We let outsiders, politicians, decide what happens in our own Community and our own politicians turn into mutes! EG this is what you get with the politicains you elected! No fight in them….so they must agree with the developers. Who do they really represent?
This is something our Town Council can do- join this coalition of rural communities impacted by state overreach: https://lm.facebook.com/l.php?u=https://www.valleybreeze.com/news/rogers-to-form-coalition-of-rural-communities-to-combat-overreaching-state-zoning/article_c2cf4e0c-95fc-11ed-9c08-3b86eb68b20b.html?fbclid%3DIwAR3zwTPswOKqO9lYvIE-GVRBduSBIuTznIXLtDx3eMBayzfZG_h2F1npp9A&h=AT0QLO_qPWnuPUeV817c6yiObwgp1uWGXURoXqMI1yP0mXhGKEuuPicNE2o69zi2Ll3xrEZQAT1N7dQkOi9xfsBpVNQpfD4pa1DkY5FQHwfCUVfKhw5DrPC5sIo5&s=1&mibextid=uc01c0
Travelling 295 North in the route 2 area, I used to have to hold my breath to avoid the smell from the West Warwick Sewage Treatment facility. While they have made progress, is it enough to support 400 more homes?
So the kids in the proposed school, off of New London Avenue, can smell the sewer system all day long, additionally proposed.
Is the technical review meeting on Tuesday open to the public? Also, does anyone know what time the public hearing will be on April 19th? Thank you for writing about this.
The TRC is open to the public but it is an internal meeting so there is not allowance for public comment. Final details about the public hearing are not available (it will be at Swift Community Center IF the floor there is ready – it has had to be replaced due to water damage). Typically, Planning Board meetings begin at 7 p.m.
The only thing I don’t agree with, is cutting down the trees to make way for this housing project. People in neighborhoods are complaining about the coyote and bears running around the neighborhoods and attacking their pets. If companies would stop buying land and cutting trees down, they won’t be driving the animals away from their homes. There’s plenty of open land elsewhere … go use that.
How does that work? East Greenwich must have to pay both Coventry and West Warwick for pipelines and sewage services. Does this go on forever or until East Greenwich builds a sewage plant big enough and close enough to accommodate such developments? Is there an anti-blackmail clause so the other towns cannot “raise the rent” a few years down the road?
It just seems that with that many houses, perhaps they should plan a school out there between this development and the one behind the Mobil Station on the New London Turnpike. Maybe even a small sewer plant. Do they even have such things? Just seems trucking kids and sewage all over the place is not what we might consider “green,” energy-wise.
Oh, and isn’t Capozzi the guy letting the old Briggs house on Division Road rot away? Why is the town even talking to them?
I know, old negative Al… at it again! Contrarian to the bone. Still, these are questions that deserve answers. We need bigger meeting halls.
There’s a statewide housing crisis/shortage, can we get past the nimby attitude, when someone is actively trying to do something about it. Millions more in tax revenue, and they won’t be using our sewers. Traffic is a small tradeoff.
Jay, not sure what nimby is? But Capozzi isn’t trying to do something about the housing shortage, he’s just trying to make millions of dollars. Not going through our sewers is the lowest of factors- and as Al points out what are the terms of the sewer lease and how long is EG not holding the bag for the use?
EG schools, fire stations, public works- none are equipped to support this, and they can’t be built magically overnight either. How will the town hold Capozzi responsible for supporting this? Likely not at all so tax payers are again left holding the bag. Affordable housing shouldn’t be apartments and tiny homes built on top of one another. To really give a better quality of life he should build modest homes on decent sized lots so families have a chance to grow and enjoy the beauty that is EG. I’m on e hearing the lawyer representing Capozzi said these are homes for our police officers and other public service employees- I love that, but let’s give them decent homes, not a tiny house with no yard where they can’t build generational wealth. This is a small minded approach to make millions of dollars by using a loophole in the law.
A raised ranch on a decent-sized lot in EG is $475k. That is not any kind of affordable housing for most people looking to buy a house. This is true of much of RI. But we have to come up with housing projects that work for more people. What could make this local project work? Other places are moving faster in a way many people here won’t like: Oregon has ended single-family zoning for the entire state.
It would be great to know what the proposed home prices will be to see how they stack up to existing. But why does affordable have to be tiny homes and apartments, let’s build modest homes with land for families. Oregon is a mess right now so wouldn’t use that as a North Star – 3-4k homes on 4-5k lots, gentrification, deforestation, habitat destruction for wildlife, overcrowded schools, lack of public services, traffic nightmares due to insufficient urban planning, and more. We’re headed for the same result if the size of this proposal stays as proposed. Ideally it gets halved and maybe that is sustainable for Division road.
With other proposals for more large developments in EG in flux we’re setting a scary precedent here.
There is a statewide housing crisis because all these new flats and communities are sold off for a fortune. Do you honestly think these homes will be offered to the local people who need them? OF COURSE NOT! They will be sold to rich people from out of state. If somebody TRULY wanted to help the homeless around here, they would do something with all the vacant and abandoned buildings rotting away and cluttering the state.
It’s not EG, but has anybody ever noticed that vacant and overgrown service station on the corner of 113 (Greenwich Ave) and 5 (Main Avenue) in Warwick, near the malls? Used to be a Sunoco Station a long time ago. That is prime location, yet has been completely abandoned for over 20 years.
Exactly. What new construction is these days is “luxury” condos built cheaply as possible. Smoke and mirrors. Rent will be $2500+ for a 2-bed. I’m not a NIMBY; healthy cities grow upwards. Add actual affordable units to the existing rental properties we have. Redone all developed land possible to multi unit dwellings. Allow larger homes to be rezoned into multis. Create a tax break for folks adding in-law apartments. I do care about people; I also think we need to speak for the local flora and fauna who cannot speak for themselves. This is a cash grab by the usual suspects, not a benevolent charitable action.
This project, because of size, should totally overwhelm the West Warwick Sewer and its occupants.
Let us hope that the “Environmentalists” and West Warwick Town officials see the potential for overflow.
Thank you Elizabeth for all the updates. The Division Road area needs so many updates to support the traffic. The town has to improve the infrastructure tremendously before this should happen. There is no breakdown lane on Division rd and the Rt 2 and Division intersection has had plenty of MVA’s recently. In the future who is responsible for maintaining and upgrading all that sewer work and who will pay for it. We can’t even get hydrants all the way down Shippeetown Road.
Where are our local Town Council and state reps fighting against this project? We are allowing state and federal government officials control the growth in EG through foolish legislation! Their silence says it all! Can EG afford this getting jammed down our throats?
“Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land:“
Goldsmith – 1770
Public hearings should be held in the high school so many more can attend and voice their opinions.
Do the people of Coventry and West Warwick even know about this sewer deal? It is time for East Greenwich residents to make it known. The Kent County Times should start covering this story. It will have an impact on the entire region’ resources.