Letter: Balance was missing from Barrington's affordable housing workshop
To the editor:
The recent “Workshop” on Low and Moderate Income Housing (LMIH) conducted by our Town Government showcased, more than anything else, the zealotry of an imbalanced panel bent on dictating not only HOW residents of a community should live, but WHERE as well.
The element missing from the reasoning of all but one of the panelists was the notion that community homeowners were also entitled to rights and privileges including the election of where and under what conditions they choose to live (one emboldened panelist was unambiguous in declaring that zoning laws constituted a barrier to LMIH and should be abolished). It seemed to completely escape the majority of panelists that a resident, especially one abutting or contiguous to a neighbors property, should reasonably oppose living next door to a newly established housing development with upwards of 140 new neighbors with cars, on environmentally sensitive property comprised of only 5.6 acres of land, with crowded unsafe streets and no sidewalks, zoned R25 (i.e. 2 units per acre) all of which defines the Sowams Nursery property in Barrington.
Fortunately, state law is clear that the rights of residents must be acknowledged and balanced against the Town’s need for LMIH as measured by specific statutory standards. We believe the law favors the position we have advocated for many months, and because of that we have instituted a lawsuit in the State Superior Court.
Thanks to the generosity of Barrington residents we have received more than 55% of our goal of $25,000 to support litigation expenses. But your continuing help is needed, so please spread the word to neighbors and friends, and send contributions to CODDER 02806, P.O. Box 133, Barrington, R.I. 02806.