Town Says Help On Way for Grand View area
When Providence Oyster Bar opened on Post Road in May, it marked a small shift southward from the hub of restaurants in downtown East Greenwich. Many in town (and beyond) have welcomed the new eatery but some of the challenges felt by downtown residents are now being felt by residents who live in the neighborhood behind POB – namely parking woes. And they aren’t happy about it.
The former occupant of 5707 Post Road was Sweet Twist, a gift and candy store. The store was popular, but it turns out the traffic for a popular restaurant compared to the traffic for a popular gift store is significant. POB has 49 parking spaces in the lot that surrounds the restaurant. The restaurant offers free valet parking with the idea of stacking cars to be able to maximize their lot space. But not everyone wants to deal with a valet service, so they park on Grand View Drive or Eugene Street instead. The result during summer weekends has been cars parked on either side of those streets, forcing walkers, cyclists, even baby carriages in the street between the lines of cars (there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood).
“This has always been a nice quiet piece of East Greenwich,” said Anna Giuliani, who lives on Grand View at Eugene. “We don’t want to be an overflow parking lot for the restaurant.”
But, as she and others have learned in recent months, there is nothing illegal about parking on both sides of Grand View. The police have only taken action when cars have parked too close to a corner or even on a corner.
For the restaurant’s part, they have been following the zoning regulations. They had no comment about the parking situation but EG News has learned the restaurant leases parking several spaces at Saint Elizabeth’s across the street for employees.
Many employees also park on the east side of Eugene Street, across from the house Juan Espinal bought one year ago.
“I lived on Main Street for five years,” Espinal said in a recent interview. “I had a chance to buy the condo where we were living but I didn’t. I have a 14 year old and we wanted a neighborhood.”
Since the restaurant opened, not only have there been cars, but the cars have been driving faster, Espinal said. “I don’t let my daughter ride her bike around,” he said.
Councilor Renu Englehart raised the issue at the Town Council meeting Monday night.
“DPW and the police are looking at that area,” Town Manager Andy Nota said. The town has erected temporary no-parking barricades on a couple of parts of the street. He noted the balancing act between being supportive of a local business and the pressures that business is putting on a neighborhood.
“We hope to be back before the council with a new ordinance, probably restricting or limiting parking on one side of Grand View,” Nota said. “I think that will provide significant relief.”
Editor’s note: Providence Oyster Bar is a sponsor-advertiser for EG News.
I can’t believe it’s legal to park in both sides of that curve at the end of Grand View. It’s dangerous if there are NO cars parked and kids are on bikes.
And the beat goes on.
I have said this over and over. Too many people, not enough space. EG is no longer a community, it is a destination, just like Newport. Driving Main Street now is like going through a portion of Pawtucket, Crowded streets. Unknown faces. Bumper to bumper traffic.
Besides isn’t a restaurant supposed to have a certain amount of parking spots to match the capacity of people inside ?
Stop the development now, or, in a few years you will be looking back on how you destroyed a beautiful town, a loving community.
You know what I was wondering while reading? Why didn’t they buy one of the empty stores in the Benny’s Plaza to convert into their business, or better, buy the former Benny’s store itself? You would have hade more than enough parking and it’s just across the street.
Trevor, that was my same thought right from the beginning. They could have bought the closed restaurant on the end, done outside dining and had more than enough parking without bothering the neighborhood people.
That isn’t how it works. You can’t buy a property at will. The Carpionato Group owns the Benny’s Plaza and isn’t willing to sell it and their lease agreements would have been prohibitive. The best way to work this is to restrict parking in those neighborhoods via the DPW and Town Council.
Apparently Providence Oyster Bar doesn’t care about being a good neighbor you think they would be involved in the issues there of course they have no comment lol
Tony I completely agree. When I see daily empty front parking and cars going up my street I do take a big issue with that. People know they will have to give a tip to the valet for basically parking in their own driveway, it’s so close. I was excited to have a restaurant down the st. Boy was I wrong. Along with families walking to the ice cream at Hilltop. Someone is going to get hurt. Maybe they should valet the cars to st Elizabeth’s and leave the parking spots around the restaurant for self parking.
This would absolutely infuriate me, the noise, the litter, etc. Not only cars being parked in front of homes, but many people are not respectful of the area I’m sure.
The Prov Oyster Bar should totally be responsible for parking for their restaurant and not be able to disrupt a neighborhood. Something should be done & without hideous signs stating no parking in front of homes of people that pay outrageous property taxes.
This type of allowable parking is just inviting problems for East Greenwich, and it’s going to be a massive problem that could get out of hand quickly.
Thanks for bringing this problem to the publics attention. As noted the area from post road to Cora street has now turned into a commercial parking lot no longer a quiet neighborhood. As with others we have cars lined up in front of our house and when we ask people not to park there all we get is attitude, like I’m supposed to allow the parking. The proposed solution to use grandview road is totally unsatisfactory. Make grandview and Eugene streets no parking from 3 thru 11 pm with residents issued stickers allowing parking if needed. There is also plenty of parking in bennys plaza, provide a shuttle. The town fathers did not do enough to ensure that the neighborhood would not be impacted by this restaurant it’s time for them make this right.
I agree – a shuttle from the Benny’s lot would solve the problem. The cost could be shared by the restaurant and the town.
That’s why I don’t frequent businesses in East Greenwich. The parking situation is horrendous. I won’t even drive through there if I can at all avoid it.
I just wondered if the abutting neighbors were ever asked about approving an establishment that required a liquor license ? Isn’t that the protocol for installing a restaurant on the fringe of a residential neighborhood? If a hearing was not held, it seems due diligence was not upheld.
I am the neighbor whose house is on the corner of Eugene and Grand View….and NO, we were not approached regarding the parking. If I understand correctly, the liquor license is for 130 seats and parking for 49 cars in the lot including valet!! What’s wrong with this math? Steve Baker is a neighbor and he is correct, Eugene St, Grand View and Cora are becoming a parking lot for an over zealous commercial enterprise. In addition to the Benny’s location, why didn’t this owner buy the location of 1149 which was a restaurant, with plenty of parking in the rear of the building, instead of another gas station being built?? This whole project was not thoroughly thought out and the neighbors are paying the price. I do not agree with ANY parking on Eugene St, Cora St, or Grand View. Going forward I suggest that the Town Council lower the liquor license seating to what the parking lots holds when the license comes up for renewal so that the neighborhood can be restored to normal. This new owner is far from a good neighbor!
I am just so sorry for you neighbors of the Oyster Bar. East Greenwich is such a wonderful place to live and your lives are being disrupted. I remember when they said it was purchased by the Oyster Bar we all brought up this exact situation. Profits before People is that the new Village motto, I am just so sad over this.
The comments above are very much similar to my thinking about the continuous encroachment on the residents and the more unchecked development that takes place the character and beauty of East Greenwich will deteriorate. In additon to the Providence Oyster Bar take a short trip up to the entrance to River Farm to see another example of destroying the quiet enjoyment of a neighborhood. Someone believes that building 12 houses that abut the neighborhood and have been dropped down in the back of a retail store is the best use of the property. The houses impacted on Chestnut deserve better and very view people would enjoy the quiet enjoyment of their home being subjected to this development. A fair question that should be asked by someone – what does the neighborhood think about the plan and what is the remedy to help the Town Council and Planning Committee balance the interests of the development, residents and the long term character of East Greenwich???
I’m one of the neighbors involved in this parking situation. My house is on the corner of Eugene and Grand View Road. I am NOT in favor of any commercial parking anywhere in our residential neighborhood. Yes, there aren’t ordinances preventing parking, this was probably discovered by the attorney for the business. Giving the business freedom to have patrons and staff park anywhere. There has never been a business there where parking ordinances were necessary. As neighbors, we were NOT consulted, notified or asked for our input that a restaurant was going into the previous gift shop! This was an over ambitious venture for this neighborhood. If I’m not mistaken, they applied for a liquor license for 130 seats, and they have 49 spaces for parking. Those numbers do not agree with each other. I do not want to see commercial parking on Eugene, Grand View or Cora St. Going forward I suggest that when the liquor license is up for renewal they lower the seating capacity to patch the number of parking spaces. If that cannot be done, they I suggest the owner make arrangements for parking in the Benny’s parking lot and shuttle the patrons back and forth.
I believe the code is not a one to one count for seats and parking spaces. The code is factoring in the basic math that the average seating is not one to one cars for seats. Must cases the patrons are not driving there without any companions with them in the vehicle.
You are correct – in EG, the rule is one parking space for every two seats. Restaurant owners can ask for a zoning variance to allow them to open with fewer spaces. The owner of POB got a variance, with the idea that valet parking could pack more cars in. However, no one can force patrons to leave their car with valet.
I recently dropped off a friend on Grand View Rd. and could not believe the parking situation in front of her home–cars and orange cones everywhere! This is not right. When I was a guidance counselor at EGHS, I had to enroll new students and always asked parents why they chose EG. The first reply was always “excellent schools.” The second had something to do with the positive community vibe. We still have excellent schools, but I fear we are not paying enough attention to that positive vibe. We can do something about that before it disappears.
I’ve worked at St. Elizabeth for 15 yrs and live in the area. When that restaurant opened, it was obvious that it would be a parking nightmare. I noticed the barricades as I leave work..they look awful. I really feel for the residents, it’s such a nice neighborhood. It’s a shame Sweet Twist closed, it was a nicely run business..the owners were super.
Parking on both sides of the street is a safety concern for people walking and emergency vehicles trying to get through. This business seems like an unfriendly neighbor. Imagine if I, as a private citizen, lined the streets of the neighborhood every weekend! I don’t think the town would be so friendly. It’s all about $$.
Welcome to my world East Greenwich water front for last 23 years!!! Crop St, Bicknell St, Wine St, Duke St……ect. There isn’t enough parking, or people don’t want to use valet parking.
These abutters better never ever have a gathering and have guests park roadside.