State Gives 410-Unit Division Rd. Plan Go-Ahead

by | Nov 28, 2023

Above: The area bounded in red is the parcel of land Ned Capozzi plans to develop. 

Developer appealed after Planning Board denial in August

The State Housing Appeals Board (SHAB) sided with developer Ned Capozzi Monday (11/28/23), overruling the Planning Board’s master plan denial of a 410-unit housing development on Division Road and paving the way for the largest residential development in the town’s history during a time of intense housing scarcity in the state.

Town Solicitor Andy Teitz announced the decision at the end of the Town Council meeting Monday night. While the SHAB vote was taken Monday, it will be weeks until a written decision laying out SHAB’s reasoning is available. But Teitz offered a concise explanation: SHAB “did not accept any of the arguments of the Planning Board.”

Those arguments were that the development did not conform with the town’s Comprehensive Plan; it would not significantly help the town reach the 10 percent affordable housing state mandate; and did not address environmental and health and safety concerns.

The town had argued the appeal was moot since the “master plan” stage is going away Jan. 1. Currently, developers have to seek three municipal approvals, starting with “master plan,” which is largely conceptual but does lock in the total number of units allowed. The next step is “preliminary plan,” where the developer would have fleshed out the plan, including all the engineering. The third step is final approval. 

Facing a decades-in-the-making housing crisis, the state General Assembly last spring passed a number of new housing laws designed to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing. One of those changes was to get rid of that first step – master plan. 

It’s unclear what the SHAB ruling does for Capozzi since he will be able submit the same development for preliminary plan approval after Jan. 1 regardless. 

Capozzi could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Find a landing page for all the stories we’ve done on the development HERE.

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Renu Englehart
Renu Englehart
November 29, 2023 7:43 am

The proposed 410 unit project did go to the State Housing Appeal Board (SHAB) which was expected and the town lost at SHAB, which was also expected (the town has not had much luck with SHAB in the past). However, the council has yet to decide whether or not there is an appeal which will happen in the next meeting or so. Any appeal will go to Superior Court not Supreme Court. It is important that all residents know that the developer has the right to build on the location as this is private property (property owners have the right to utilize), the density of that project is most concerning and the ability of the parcel to be able to provide for proposed residents. I am recused from this project so I cannot vote but I can (and will) speak at Planning Board meetings. 

As far as the 1727 Division Rd house goes (Mr Capozzi owns this home and the town was successful at moving it into receivership), please be advised that Mr Capozzi did admit to the receiver when asked during a visit to the property that he wants the property in the rear (the larger parcel in West Warwick) for a distribution center – not quite Amazon size but something similar with truck traffic and further light pollution.

All residents should be concerned about Mr Capozzi’s motivations and the future of the town’s growth. Affordable housing is needed but also the ability of towns to absorb large scale projects is also important.

November 29, 2023 7:58 am

The state doesn’t give one twit about East Greenwich. Never has. You should speak to the people who work at the schools, medical units etc about what all this development is doing to East Greenwich. Ruining it. You will rue the day this passed.

Bill Higgins
Bill Higgins
November 29, 2023 8:44 am

How is this going to affect the school population and was this calculated when the school bond was being developed?

Catherine Rodgers
Catherine Rodgers
November 29, 2023 10:32 am

“Facing a decades-in-the-making housing crisis, the state General Assembly last spring passed a number of new housing laws designed to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing.” Our State Rep. Justine Caldwell and State Senator Bridget Valverde both voted in favor of these laws which override local control and give developers and the state carte blanche to determine where, how much, and what kind of housing is built in our community. They did this after stating that they would do the opposite at the EG News Candidate Forums last fall. We need affordable housing, but removing the ability of municipalities to carefully and responsibly plan for development is undemocratic. And voters should be wary of candidates who are dishonest in order to get elected.

john heinhammer
john heinhammer
November 29, 2023 2:52 pm

This project is gonna be great!

alan clarke
alan clarke
November 30, 2023 9:27 am

Any idea what the units will cost? Just how ªaffordable” will they be? They are tearing apart the old part of town and none of the new units would be considered affordable. Who is the state trying to bs? And who believes it?

Mary Ward
Mary Ward
November 30, 2023 3:13 pm

I feel if the state actually cared about affordable housing, it would pick one or more municipalities that already offer more affordability to the average Rhode Islander, develop actual affordable housing there, invest in their schools, infrastructure. Cities like Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, Woonsocket etc. whose governments might jump at the chance for major state investments & who have the space to develop.
It’s silly forcing every municipality across the state adhere to a 10% affordable mandate when EG affordable is unaffordable for most Rhode Islanders & all it’s doing is increasing home prices & making affordable even more affordable. Few would find home prices in EG or Barrington “affordable” at any price. State isn’t solving any homeless problems by increasing the number of housing units in EG. A basic 2-3 bedroom that cost $300K 2-3 years ago is $600K now


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