North Kingstown will have to wait another month to possibly hear any updates on a proposed village center on Ten Rod Road. The North Kingstown Planning Commission has continued the discussion on the project at Rolling Greens until its June 21 meeting.
The North Kingstown Planning Department has been working with Rolling Greens developer Mark Hawkins for the past year on the 122-acre commercial and residential village center named The Preserve at Rolling Greens. The proposed development would feature elderly housing of 36 duplexes, 10 single-family homes and more than 35,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.
The development would require changes to both the town’s comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances. Commission members were presented with the text changes, but only a few days before the meeting. Commission member Paul Dion expressed concern that he wanted more time to review the changes and wanted to see what would be cut from the ordinance as well. The commission will revisit the issue next month after reviewing the material.
The commission shot down the idea of a work-study group to conduct a “visioning process” for the Route 2 and Route 102 intersection, as suggested by a consultant from Cambridge-based Consensus Building Institute.
“Ninety-five percent of the people here have some sort of opinion and the chance of changing their opinion is very low,” said Commission Member James Grundy. Dion said he believed this would set a precedent for visioning in other parts of town.
Hawkins’ lawyer, Bill Landry, also agreed and said the visioning process would be “a waste of time.”
“We’re kind of completing the circle here,” said Landry. “Going back wouldn’t bring about any revelations.”
The survey of 13 people (ranging from the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce’s Karla Driscoll to Richard Schartner to Exeter and North Kingstown residents) by CBI’s Ona Ferguson seemed like a rehashing opinions voiced in the past year’s meetings, according to some commission members. According to Ferguson’s findings, residents “generally like and are accustomed to what is there now.” Concerns over traffic, current aesthetic and feel, financial impact, environmental impact and water supply were raised in Ferguson’s survey. Others were concerned that the area would be “spoiled” by such development.
“Nothing in this [survey] surprised me,” said Dion. “We’ve heard it all before.”
The measure to pursue the visioning process was voted down 2-4, with Chair Richard Pastore and Harriet Powell supporting.