Letter: Barrington group has been hard at work
To the editor:
In a Nov. 13 letter to the editor, a Barrington resident inquired about the identity of CODDER 02806 suggesting there was something “fishy” about it. We thought it was a reasonable inquiry deserving a response.
CODDER 02806 is an acronym for “Committee Opposed to Detrimental Development and for Environmental Responsibility”. The initiative for the creation of our committee, which now numbers 10 residents of the Hampden Meadows community, was the interest of a housing developer, the East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), to construct 50 or more corporate owned apartment rental units for low and moderate income housing tenants on what is now 5.6 buildable acres of land (i.e. 9 units per acre) on the Sowams Nursery property on Sowams Road. The land abuts the Palmer River and is otherwise bounded exclusively by owner-occupied single family residential houses zoned R10 (4 units/acre) and R25 (2 units/acre).
The Sowams Nursery is itself zoned R25 which permits no more than 2 units per acre, a fact generally known and understood by abutting, contiguous and community neighbors.
A grass roots group of residents affected by the construction project informally met in May 2012 to discuss ramifications of the project. We concluded that the project was not in the best interests of either the town or the thousands of residents of the Hampden Meadows community. A committee was formed to research the many facets of the project, and this committee came to be known as CODDER 02806. Since that date we have done the following:
• Conducted several door-to-door solicitations of signatures to a petition in opposition to the EBCDC project, collecting 527 resident signatures, almost all in the Hampden Meadows community.
• Made numerous requests of the town for information made available under state law
• Done extensive research concerning the ecological consequences of the EBCDC proposal
• Establish a web site (CODDER02806.com) explaining in detail the grounds for our objection to the project
• Written many letters to town boards and committees explaining in detail the reasons for our objections to the project
• Attended all public meetings of the planning board,town council, housing committee, and technical review committee in their deliberations concerning the proposed housing development, identifying ourselves as members of CODDER 02806 and presenting our point of view.
• Authored numerous letters and notices published in the Barrington Times and Barrington Patch encouraging attendance at town meetings, and providing commentary on the many issues involved.
• Amassed an e-mail contact list which provides up-to-date information
• Hired an attorney who has commenced litigation in the R.I. Superior Court naming the town planning board and the EBCDC as defendants. This litigation was begun in response to the planning board approval of the master plan of the EBCDC. The planning board, which reduced the number of units to 42, may still reject the application of the EBCDC in other phases of the application process once their own studies of the issues are completed.
We hope this responds adequately to the writer’s inquiry.