Remarks on the Development of Metacomet
For over 100 years the Metacomet Country Club has been part of the landscape of our city and while the vast majority of East Providence residents did not have access to the private club, its natural beauty, rolling fairways and serene setting provided green, open space abutting our neighborhoods and pleasing sight lines as we drive, walk or bike by on Veterans Memorial Parkway. Those of us who have had the opportunity to play golf on the fantastic Donald Ross design know just how much of a gem the golf course is. Through no fault of our citizens or our local elected or appointed officials, that green, open space, is on the cusp of being developed, and while we respect, as we all should, a private transaction and development within established zoning restrictions, it is very important that three key elements are met before our city council signs off on the currently proposed development.
First, the community, and especially the neighbors surrounding Metacomet, should be transparently engaged at each and every point of the process and their concerns and ideas should be heard and incorporated into any plan. Second, any development should preserve significant acreage for open space and community access. Lastly, this development should be part of an overall comprehensive and holistic economic development plan for our city that acknowledges legitimate concerns regarding traffic congestion and overdevelopment.
Our personal preference is that Metacomet remain a golf course and function facility, albeit one that can be accessed by more of our citizens than have had that opportunity in the past.
We do understand that is an unlikely scenario at this point and that the owners of the property have every right to do with it what they please, within existing zoning. With that said, any zoning changes to accommodate a development must meet the aforementioned criteria or we will be doing a great disservice to our city and its residents.
Representative Joe Serodio- District 64, East Providence
Representative Gregg M. Amore- District 65, East Providence