Warren denies Settlers Green proposal

Planning board unanimously rejects Kinnicutt Avenue housing proposal

By Ted Hayes
Posted 2/23/21

The Warren Planning Board on Monday night unanimously rejected the Settlers' Green housing proposal, ruling that the controversial housing development planned for a stretch of former farmland on …

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Warren denies Settlers Green proposal

Planning board unanimously rejects Kinnicutt Avenue housing proposal

Posted

The Warren Planning Board on Monday night unanimously rejected the Settlers' Green housing proposal, ruling that the controversial housing development planned for a stretch of former farmland on Kinnicutt Avenue falls well short of Warren's standards and does not adequately address the need for affordable housing here.

Last Ever Realty LLC had sought a Comprehensive Permit to build 12 single family homes and 108 apartment units on land just south of Frerichs Farm. The plan had been proposed under the state's Low and Moderate Income Housing Act, which allows developers to take advantage of streamlined approval processes and reduced town review if they dedicate a percentage of the units for affordable housing in towns that don’t meet the state’s threshold of having 10 percent of their housing stock deeded as affordable.

Despite the town's limited authority to shape the development, planning board members unanimously agreed with Warren Town Planner Bob Rulli, who prior to the meeting sent a memo to them explaining that for a multitude of reasons, the project should be rejected.

Among other things, Mr. Rulli wrote that the project is not consistent with the town's Comprehensive Plan, and that the development would only increase Warren's affordable housing stock from 4.49 percent to 4.83 percent.

He argued that Last Ever sought 13 waivers from the town's ordinances, and "the amount and scope of the waivers and relief requested ... far outweigh the need for low and moderate income housing based on the number of units offered."

In addition, Mr. Rulli argued that the project would not be compatible with Warren's fire-fighting and wastewater infrastructure, would be incompatible with Warren's need to protect its natural resources, and among other things would not integrate well into the community with respect to its scale, massing and location.

Last Ever officials have a right to appeal the board's decision to the State Housing Board, and from there the next venue for the town to fight the project would be in Rhode Island Superior Court.

It was not known Tuesday whether Last Ever Realty plans to appeal the board's decision.

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