Councilman Says he Feels "Extreme Disappointment" in Recent Comp Plan Rewrite

We need to fix Post Road and our other existing business centers before destroying scenic open spaces and spoiling those as well, write Kevin Maloney of the North Kingstown Town Council.

An overhead view of the intersection of Routes 2 and 102 in North Kingstown. (Photo: Google Maps)
An overhead view of the intersection of Routes 2 and 102 in North Kingstown. (Photo: Google Maps)

By Kevin Maloney
North Kingstown Town Councilman

With all other Town Council members weighing in on the subject, I am compelled to express my extreme disappointment in the recent Comp Plan rewrite and zoning changes.  When we ignore the language discussing revitalization of existing properties before building in green space, preserving the farmland and open space, etc. and rewrite our Comprehensive Plan on the fly to allow new zoning to take place; it defeats the integrity of having a Comp Plan. Adding new language encouraging development of our scenic areas and encouraging development of land the town has established as transfer of development rights sending areas (to counter legal challenges) is counter intuitive.  The recent Market Analysis report ordered by the town council has been ignored as well.

I ran 2 years ago because a large population felt they were not being heard and represented. In both TC and PC public hearings spanning 3 nights, the vast majority opposed this development with only a previous TC member, the developers lawyer, and I believe 1 or 2 others in favor. 

The costly Stakeholder process was stacked against the residents and then mis-used to justify the Compact Village Development zoning when there has been overwhelming demand for a Conservation Development. An explanation of this can be heard by listening to the 6/23 town council meeting recording. 

The rotary which will go in at this intersection is designed to keep traffic moving.  The last weekend in June the traffic was backed up down to Rte. 4.  This development will only create more of a bottleneck and defeat the purpose of the rotary. The rotary will also inhibit the walking and biking between parcels being touted. 

The development was originally proposed as age restricted, then downgraded to age targeted; meaning no restrictions. 

In my opinion this is spot zoning, which the town was called on when changing another parcel in the area, and still unresolved.  Town officials claim they want to limit growth to the area.  I feel this will do just the opposite. The Bald Hill nursery owners originally proposed a small landscape nursery business not much different than what existed.  There is a Hops Farm Brewery starting across the road. Remember the wedding barn proposal? This is acceptable development for the area. Not more pharmacies and banks. 

Now Bald Hill Nursery is looking at 72,000 sq./ft. to preserve their rights.  The owners will challenge this and more than likely be vested, the Schartner parcel was never changed and remains general business, leaving spot zoning of one development, Rolling Greens. Town officials are also requesting the Urban Service Boundary be moved West which only encourages more growth, not limit growth as continuously stated. It would also allow even greater density of Rolling Greens per CVD language.

We have suitable areas all over town capable and zoned properly to increase our tax base and expand economic development.  We need to fix Post Road and our other existing business centers before destroying scenic open spaces and spoiling those as well.  We need to listen to the people.  That is why I voted against these changes.  My mind hasn't been clouded by accepting campaign donations from the developer, satisfying running mates or childhood friends. 

Kevin Maloney

North Kingstown Town Council

James LaRoche July 11, 2014 at 03:49 PM
NK--I understand that you and CC have agendas and I'm sorry you are angry and disagreeable people. It's tough to hold a rational discussion with those that use silly personal attacks, spew opinion as fact, and appear not to be able to critically think. But let's just agree to disagree--I'll ignore you and you can ignore me.
NKResident1 July 11, 2014 at 04:05 PM
LaRoche, I would suggest you look at you previous posts well the posts that you did not delete to see how your comments do not make sense. You wanted proof and when given you side step. Perhaps example 5 is in order - Mark Hawkins financial backers Peter Hendrick, Sandra Hendrick contributors to Carol Hueston $1081.00 for Golf Tournament. Seems to be a pattern developing LaRoche.
James LaRoche July 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM
What part of ignore do you not understand?
Crystal Ball July 12, 2014 at 07:50 AM
James, "Checkmate" !
observer July 12, 2014 at 07:52 AM
I respect anyone's right to post here or any other public forum. It is always interesting when a new (not sure how new) resident to NK knows all about what has been going on for the preceding 6-8 years. I do not have the space to go into the particulars of the discussion here in this forum it has been well documented by others. It is a town issue that has its root cause in the TC not listening to the people. The reasons are many but boil down to one in particular. That one is the issue of the state mandated 10% low income housing. Once this threshold was met the powers to be were uncuffed from any state oversight and they began to run wild with their insider plans and schemes. No other town in South County is close to the 10% threshold nor wants to be. This is well documented and it includes many of the TC's own studies which they chose to ignore. But it goes deeper in that it is rooted in the incestuous relationships between some board and commission members as well as TC members and some business members. The connect the dots exercise is one in which dancing on the head of a pin is required to avoid ethical and moral reprimands. The age old adage if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck holds true here and those of us who have connected the dots see a very clear picture. There are still some of us old "swamp yankees" that pay attention and truly know the history of NK. Good old plain truth is hard to run away from. In the end you can't outrun yourself.


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