Barrington resident polls people about Palmer Pointe project


A Barrington resident conducted his own poll regarding the proposed affordable housing development set for Sowams Road and found that the majority of people he spoke to opposed the project and the idea of extending a tax break to the developer.

Dr. Ken Lavin, who lives in the Hampden Meadows area of town, reportedly polled residents outside the Shaw’s Supermarket in the center of town on Aug. 3 and 4.

He said he asked the residents two questions: 1. Are you for or against the project on Sowams Road? and 2. Are you for or against extending the tax break to the project?

Of the 79 people who responded to the first question, 59.5 percent were against the project, Dr. Lavin said.

Of the 68 people who responded to the second question, 78 percent said they were against the tax break, he said.

“It is clear that even with the margin of error, the town’s residents are opposed to the project and it is very clear with an overwhelming response that the residents of Barrington are opposed to tax credits for the project,” wrote Dr. Lavin in a recent statement.

“The issue that the town council members must evaluate is if the overwhelming opinion of the constituents of the town is more important that the special interests of affordable housing.”

Dr. Lavin has been vocal in his concern about the proposed affordable housing development on Sowams Road, which has been titled Palmer Pointe. The East Bay Community Development Corporation, a non-profit based in Bristol, has submitted a plan to build a 50-unit project, but the planning board earlier this month dropped that figured to 42 units.

Dr. Lavin previously submitted a request to the council asking the town to purchase the 10-acre Sowams Nursery property — home to the proposed project  but the town solicitor urged council members to avoid tampering with the purchase and sales agreement already inked by the land owner and EBCDC.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.