Monday's Town Council meeting began, but could not complete, an important Public Hearing on proposed major changes to regulations on housing lots: Public Hearing and Potential Action Concerning Ordinance #397, Amending Chapter 218-52 Residential Conservation Development. The hearing will be continued on Thursday, July 14, starting at 7 pm at Town Hall and it's important that residents attend and understand these changes. We wrote about Monday's meeting here.
The Westerly Sun reported on it here.
As reported in the Sun: The contentious public hearing drew upward of 100 residents as Town Hall approached capacity at the start of the meeting, and led to a nearly 2.5-hour discussion regarding the impact of the ordinance, which was developed over the past two years following extensive work and multiple hearings by members of the town's Planning Board. The hearing was continued until Thursday evening, with members of the council set to resume discussion during a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. The meeting will be open to the public and include an ongoing comment period during which residents can speak. Prior to Monday's meeting, local attorney Maggie Hogan wrote about it here. Ms. Hogan explains that this proposed ordinance is a major infringement on property rights. The major objection with the new regulations is how vague they are and how much is left to the discretion of the elected Planning Commission on a case-by-case basis. As reported in the Sun: "This as written is very vague. it leaves a lot of gray areas and it remains opaque, leaving projects at the mercy of the planning board and elected officials," [Tim] Stasiunas said. "(The Planning Commission) lacks credibility in decisions, and that is a heavy burden for residents to have to rely on an elected official to simply treat them honestly and fairly." Please consider attending Thursday's meeting if you can.