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Letter: Exeter, NK & Route 2/102

A group tasked with creating a vision for the contentious intersection of Route 2 and 102 has neighboring town Exeter displeased.

In last week’s Standard Times, there was a front page article in which a member of the Exeter community expressed his dissatisfaction with the . I believe it is important for everyone to understand what has taken place over the past few years with and the collaboration that has occurred between the two communities.

  • North Kingstown spent $750,000 to purchase and protect 10 acres of the 140 acre Schartner Bald Hill Nursery property.  The Town committed this amount toward the entire purchase, since the deal would not have occurred without our contribution.
  • The Town of Exeter spent $500,000 to protect 102 acres as their contribution to the deal.
  • RIDEM gave a $1,000,000 grant to Exeter and North Kingstown toward the purchase of this property and there was also a private contribution of $3,000,000 donated to Exeter for the purchase by a private entity. 
  • North Kingstown and the private party’s attorney conducted all of the negotiations for the purchase of the development rights.  There was no participation by Exeter in the numerous meetings held weekly for many months.
  • North Kingstown developed a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program to protect this property and other areas in town.  There was an understanding that there would be building on another portion of the unprotected land for agricultural or agriculturally related businesses.
  • NK then agreed to allow the 10 acres of the Bald Hill Nursery land in Exeter to utilize the NK TDR program through the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a revised ordinance.  This assisted Exeter since the town had not acted as required in the Purchase and Sales Agreement in establishing their own TDR program.  There was no financial gain for NK in this agreement, only an additional means of protecting the intersection from further development on agricultural land.
  • Currently, between NK and Exeter, there are approximately 35 acres of commercially zoned land at this intersection – 25 in NK/10 Exeter.  There is presently little control over the design, layout and compatibility of the sites as they relate to the area or one another.  A visioning process with the potential for new zoning at this intersection allows for a better coordinated development result which is more consistent with the character of the area.  The NK sentiment at this time is to develop a well thought out plan and to LIMIT the impact of the current commercial designations.
  • Exeter’s displeasure at not being at the table for the NK process seems to forget that during the “Vision for Exeter” process and the Exeter discussions regarding the potential for a village at this very intersection, NK was not asked to participate in any manner.
  • NK has committed considerable resources (staff time/money) to land protection and the visioning process for this intersection.  NK does not have the authority to manipulate or study Exeter land or change the zoning.  A monetary contribution to the effort could allow inclusion of some of the Exeter property.

To state that North Kingstown is not committed to preserving is intersection or providing a sensible plan for development is a misrepresentation of the facts. Exeter should take comfort in the knowledge that North Kingstown has taken the initiative in developing and implementing a well thought out plan for this area.

Michael Embury

North Kingstown Town Manager

Scott Madison September 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM
My mistake....I got confused between the Exeter Planning Committee and the NK Town Council....
NKGOP Watch September 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Once again, under the Dolan-Hueston-Stamm Halley-lover NK town council, we're in a jam with others. War with the firefighters, war with the wind turbine victims, war with the residents, now war with Exeter! It's JUST like the Halley school system was. STOP ELECTING THE SAME NK INCUMBENTS.
NKGOP Watch September 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Oh and as to Mike's assertion that since Exeter didnt invite us to their planning, we arent inviting them. Didnt his grandmother tell him two wrongs do not make a right?
Noreswindnk September 05, 2012 at 03:25 AM
This is an NK sponsored project, paid by NK taxpayers with NO support from any Exeter taxpayer. Yes, it affects Ex., and it affects many others as well who don't get to sit at the table. With due respect to our neighboring town (and I like the town of Exeter), sit down, shut up and thank the NK council for allowing you to sit at the table while other NK stakeholders/taxpayers are forced into the audience. If you really want to press this, I suggest you sit in the audience like everyone else who would like to be at the table and make your complaints from there.
NKGOP Watch September 05, 2012 at 03:38 AM
By the way please dont take my coment to detract from Mike Embury. The town manager "serves at the pleasure of the town council". He is a professional who knows how to implement their imperatives. Any beef with public policy in NK is between the voters and that rancid pro-conflict ratpack called the town council (except Charles Brennan (D) who is quite good).

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