Residents expecting a public hearing on a controversial zoning district at Monday night’s North Kingstown Town Council meeting will have their say Tuesday night to share their thoughts.
After recent modifications to the , the council decided to have the town’s Planning Commission review the amended ordinance one more time before making a decision. The North Kingstown Planning Commission will review and make a recommendation at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at .
The CVD discussion began during planning commission meetings for a proposed village center at Rolling Greens Golf Course — named “The Preserve at Rolling Greens” — on Ten Rod Road. Since i, nearby residents have come out — described as a smaller version of South County Commons in Wakefield — in their area. The land in question, zoned residential, sits upon a groundwater overlay district designed to protect the town’s water supply. During these discussions, the commission began to look into modifying the language for CVD, as it has yet to be used in any developments in town.
After months of review, rewrites and discussion, the matter now goes back to the commission for final review and recommendation after the findings from a study on North Kingstown’s village centers was integrated into the language.
The study, conducted by Horsley Witten Group, suggested that the CVD zone’s regulations and parameters should be based on performance standards instead of arbitrary numbers and figures — recommending that yield plans be cast aside for measuring tools such as nitrogen loading. Nate Kelly, a member of Horsley Witten, spoke before the council and suggested that language regarding open space minimums and impervious surface maximums be excluded. These recommendations have now been integrated into the CVD language, according to Planning Director Jon Reiner.
Kelly added that the CVD “can’t be placed anywhere in North Kingstown” and that there needs to be “clear eligibility criteria,” strong design criteria, compliance with nitrogen standards and multiple layers of protection and review for a plan to be approved under the CVD zone.
Aside from its suggestions for the CVD ordinance, Horsley Witten recommended the creation of a new district exclusively for the Wickford Junction village center, where a .
“Wickford Junction is different,” said Kelly. “It’s unique and it has different requirements in terms of transit development opportunities.”
The role of the urban services boundary, where public services supporting urban development exists, regarding the CVD was questioned by both Council President Elizabeth Dolan and Council Member Charles Stamm. According to Planning Commission Chairman Chip Palmer, there was “initial” sentiment to restrict CVDs to within the urban services boundary, but the prevailing sentiment was to let it be allowed townwide. Palmer told the council the issue will be readdressed with the commission at Tuesday night’s meeting.