Plenty of questions about Palmer Pointe


Barrington residents still have a lot of questions about Palmer Pointe and on Tuesday, a few dozen people packed into Barrington Public Library looking for answers.

The Barrington Planning Board, Technical Review Committee and Housing Board of Trustees hosted a pre-application meeting with representatives of the East Bay Community Development Corporation. While the EBCDC has not officially submitted a comprehensive permit for the project, the pre-application meeting is a chance for local officials – and this case, the public – to weigh in with questions and comments on the 48-unit Sowams Road development.

The public's questions covered everything from traffic issues to drainage concerns, economic impacts and trash collection. Pre-application meeting's do not typically allow for public comment though interest in the proposal spurred a change for Tuesday night's meeting.

Frank Spinella is EBCDC's consultant on the project. He said there is a "huge need" for this kind of project and roughly 20 percent of those living in Barrington would meet income requirements to be eligible for housing within the development.

Don Powers, of Union Studio, is the project's architect. His presentation was similar to one delivered at an informational meeting in November.

Representatives of all three boards took turns asking questions of the developer, which centered on similar issues as the public.

The next step in the process is the master plan stage. Mr. Spinella said he expects the project's official application to be submitted within 60 days. The public will have another chance to comment both at the master plan and preliminary design stages.


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This rental project has to do with tax credits at 95 cents on the dollar that come from building HUD subsidized affordable rental units. The developer gets the tax credits (to be sold to investors), and will also ask the town council to deliver long term property tax abatement's paid for by town residents.

After 30 years (the term of the deed restriction), the entire complex might be sold as waterfront condos at their full market rate.

This is about developers and their friends.

The prior town council voted in favor of property tax abatement's for Sweetbriar where Sweetbriar pays less than 1/10th of the average property tax bill in town.

And now it has been learned that Barrington's Spencer Trust Fund has been subverted by town officials to allow transfers out of the fund to the West Elmwood Housing developer to promote their affordable projects. The original will was altered to make this happen, and demonstrates just how far town officials are going to promote this insanity.

Residents have to become better informed as to just how fast our town is being permanently changed by developers, and by our town officials.

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