Letter: Stone Harbour boardwalk burden is not fair to residents

Posted 10/17/19

My husband, Bob, and I bought our condo at Stone Harbour five years ago. We have been living in Albany for the past 20-plus years, but knew we wanted to spend as much time as we could in Bristol and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Letter: Stone Harbour boardwalk burden is not fair to residents

Posted

My husband, Bob, and I bought our condo at Stone Harbour five years ago. We have been living in Albany for the past 20-plus years, but knew we wanted to spend as much time as we could in Bristol and had plans to retire here as soon as we could.

Yes, we fell in love with Bristol, R.I. The people are warm and friendly wherever we go. Whether I am at the local grocery, Colt State Park, any of the many restaurants in Bristol, or just walking the boardwalk, I will surely lock eyes and exchange kind words with people I have never seen before. We are neighbors.

What I recently found out, and you probably don’t know, is that the 81 apartments that make up Stone Harbour are solely responsible for the costs of the creation and maintenance of the boardwalk from the DeWolf Tavern to Quitos.

The boardwalk is open to the public, and I personally enjoy seeing how much the public enjoys spending time there. This year, our association spent $30,000 on boardwalk maintenance. Please keep in mind that we are 81 condo units, not 800 units. It’s a lot of money to have to budget for, not to mention the fact that the Stone Harbour Condos represent a large yearly influx in tax dollars to the Town of Bristol. It is almost double the tax we pay in Albany.

Around 2003, after the abandoned Premier Thread Company building, vacant for four years, was purchased by PT Development, an agreement was made between the Town of Bristol and PT Development. It required PT Development to construct a boardwalk at the waterfront, and to maintain it from that point on (or in perpetuity). Then, they would allow the construction of the condos.

To me, and to others who attempted to speak with our town decision makers, this arrangement in is unfair and inequitable. PT Development is long gone, but we Bristol lovers and taxpayers are now left to suffer with this arrangement that seems to have only have benefited the PT Development Company and the Town of Bristol, not the Stone Harbour residents.

There are loopholes in the contract that was signed in 2003. It provides for the authority of Stone Harbour to install gates on either end of the boardwalk and lock them at times and at night. It also has a clause that covers our residents for inappropriate behavior (i.e. alcohol consumption, profanity, rowdiness, bike riding) that is observed by guests on the boardwalk. No one really wants to do that. We want to be good neighbors.

Good neighbors. People before me have tried to talk to the town about the inequity of this arrangement without any positive outcome. I need to try, but I’m a nurse, not a politician.

I want to feel as welcome in this town as anyone else who lives here. We taxpayers are people, and not just “condos.” I’d like the town to embrace the concept of the good neighbor and step back to look at the impact this contract, made many years ago, has on our lives and the entire community and visitors in Bristol.

Small town mentality? No, just the need for change. Change is good. See you at the parade in July.

Kathleen Bain Busch
Bristol

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

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.