Letter: Don’t allow Robin Rug developer to skirt Bristol’s Master Plan

Posted 1/20/22

To the editor:Developer Brady Sullivan is asking the Planning Board and Town Council to eliminate substantial benefits to Bristol taxpayers by changing the Zoning Map and Master Plan attached to …

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Letter: Don’t allow Robin Rug developer to skirt Bristol’s Master Plan

Posted

To the editor:

Developer Brady Sullivan is asking the Planning Board and Town Council to eliminate substantial benefits to Bristol taxpayers by changing the Zoning Map and Master Plan attached to Robin Rug. The changes will cost Bristol property taxpayers a minimum of $614,000 more per year and eliminate the requirement to dedicate 10 percent of the land for public use. We need to keep the current Master Plan for the sake of Bristol citizens.

Any developer who rehabs Robin Rug for mixed use residents will be eligible for 45 percent in Historic Tax Credits. That means they will actually get 45 percent of the cost of rehab – real money — from federal and state taxpayer funds. Conservatively, they will collect over $3 million in rents per year. Developers would be lining up to do this project under the current Master Plan, if given the chance. It’s a developer’s windfall.

Brady Sullivan used faulty calculations to justify its request for more from the Planning Board and Town Council, saying that the Town will lose only $345,773 annually. That’s only 56 percent of the real number based on Town of Bristol data. (See their Bristol Yarn Mill Fiscal Impact Statement).
The discrepancy is based on the developer saying its newly proposed changes will include 44 percent fewer students than normal; have 20 percent fewer residents than normal, and have residents that use 15 percent less municipal services than the rest of us. They also say that there will be only one person per bedroom in the apartments to use a figure of 295 additional residents in town. Brady Sullivan uses data from 2003 to 2006 to support their claim. They also include hotel complexes in Washington County to determine the number of school age children. (See the Appendices in their report.)

Based on the certified 2021 Town of Bristol budget, population data and tax figures, the real numbers show that there will be about 366 new residents – not 295; at least 30 students – not 20; and the new residents living there will use the roads, police, fire, public services and schools as much as anyone else who lives in Town, not 15 percent less than the rest of us.

For property taxpayers, no matter which way it goes, we will pay. Keeping the current Master Plan and Zoning for Robin Rug, we will at least enjoy 10 percent of the land for public benefit and limit the additional tax burden for Bristol homeowners.

Attend the Planning Board meeting on Feb. 10 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom and let your voice be heard. Please keep the current Master Plan.

Marianne Bergenholtz
366 Hope Street
Bristol

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