21 Home "Hundred Acre Cove" Development Proposed for Riverside
City Council Gives Initial Approval. Above Photos are Developer Renditions of the Single Family Homes, Reaching $500,000. Current Vacant Land is Shown. Photos by Bob Rodericks.
The East Providence City Council gave initial variance approval to the "Hundred Acre Cove" housing development proposal for the corner of Reardon Street and Wampanoag Trail in Riverside, RI at its February 20th, 2018 meeting. The Carpionato Group, a Rhode Island development company, presented a proposal to build 21 single family homes on the long vacant Riverside property which abuts Wampanoag Trail. "We are not aggressively developing the land which will have two cul-de-sacs and will feature traditional New England style clapboard and shingled homes," Frank Montanaro, Assistant to Commercial Development for Carpionato and other company executives told the council. "The homes will have a coastal New England look and will be built on 10,000 square foot minimum lots. Home prices will range from the high $300,000 to high $400,000 range. All homes will have attached garages and will be a first-class development increasing local property values," said Montanaro.
Carpionato Group spokespersons testified that the plan has been received well and approved by city planning and zoning boards. "The plan meets all aspects of the city Comprehensive Plan and all local officials agree with this development," said company officials. In response to Ward Two councilwoman Anna Sousa's questions about potential ground water and flooding potential, officials said that any flooding concerns in the area will be alleviated. "When completed, drainage and water absorption will be better than the vacant land currently has," said Montanaro. "We will satisfy whatever the Planning and Zoning boards require as well as any Department of Environmental Management restrictions." The area is noted for a high water table.
The company stated that independent studies conclude that there "would be no traffic or other detrimental concerns to the Reardon, Estrelle and Wampanoag Trail area. Company officials also said that the 3 bedroom homes were projected by scientific studies to have approximately 13 school age children. "The state average is about 50 children per 100 homes," said Montanaro. "We are very confident that there will be no negative impact on local schools." School committee member Jessica Beauchaine said that she neither supported or disapproved of the project but "I want you to know we are at capacity across the board with school census." Resident Chrissy Rossi told the council that she envisioned "many more than 13 school age children could be present" and that increased traffic would be a problem. "Have you driven by Bay View (academy) in the morning," Rossi asked.
Paul Doppke, who lives next to the proposed development on Estrell Drive, told the council that he approves of the plan. "I have lived next to this vacant land for a long time. My fear is that someday I would be looking at the back of a Wal Mart. This is a great plan. The developers have communicated with the neighbors and have done a great job. I own a four bedroom home and have no children. I support this very much," said Doppke.
Resident Wayne Borges lives on Reardon Ave. and told the council that while he has concerns he was willing to listen further to the developer's plan. Borges said he wanted good notice and communication on any plans. Ward three councilman Joe Botelho said that "if I lived in that area, I would want it built." Ward four councilman Brian Faria said that "as this is in my ward, I will set up community meetings with the developer to allow residents to comment."
Carpionato officials said that they will "readily attend any meetings and provide all the answers and information the neighbors want."
The initial approval was granted unanimously by the city council. Neighborhood meetings and final approvals will be scheduled.
In November, 2017, the Carpionato Group purchased all but two of the closed Benny's stores. The company is putting together a diverse group of retail tenants to locate in the former Benny's closed stores. Plans for the Pawtucket avenue Benny's have not been disclosed. It was the smallest of the Benny's.