WPRI: E.P. City Council approves rezoning for Metacomet property

THE EAST PROVIDENCE City Council approved a rezoning request for the former Metacomet Golf Club property. / COURTESY MARSHALL PROPERTIES
EAST PROVIDENCE – The East Providence City Council late Tuesday evening approved the rezoning of the property that was formerly home to the Metacomet Golf Club in a 3-2 vote, WPRI-TV CBS 12 reported. The approval will allow the property to be developed by Marshall Properties to utilize the open land for commercial or residential…
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  1. I’m happy the rezoning was approved. Mixed use commercial-residential developments are very popular in other states I’ve been to but don’t seem to be built as much in RI and MA. They help add new housing supply to our metro region, offer more densely located housing units, and have a lower environmental footprint than many existing homes or new single family homes. I think the development is a well balanced proposal that takes into account external stakeholder concerns, and has a lot to like. Rents have been going up in East Prov. and most of the existing rental housing stock is old and expensive compared to many regions of the US. Right now we have high demand for housing and building new and building denser needs to be part of the solution. I’ve been to cities like Wilmington, NC, and though I don’t favor its car centric layout or sprawling commercial box stores, they are building new condo, apartment, and mixed-use developments at such a pace that it’s kept home price and rent appreciation to very reasonable levels, even for new “luxury” construction. This is also despite a rapidly growing economy and population. In Spring 2020 we moved my retired mother in-law from Wilmington, NC closer to us in RI. I wish I could adequately put into words the the difference between what he fixed income would have provided her in Wilmington compared to what she was able to afford in East Providence. If housing, and not family, were the only consideration it would have been financially insane to move her up here. Personal story aside, there is a smarter way to build than single family sprawl, and permitting new mixed-use and denser housing developments should be part of the solution to our housing difficulties in our region. I’m happy this project is moving forward and I hope RI and MA build more developments like this one.