May 9, 2021

Keep Metacomet Green, East Providence, Ri special meeting for Thursday, April 29, 2021

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The grassroots organization Keep Metacomet Green! is urging the members of the East Providence City Council to schedule a properly-noticed public hearing before a vote is held on whether to take the Metacomet property by eminent domain.

The Council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, April 29, 2021, for the purpose of considering the acquisition of the property by eminent domain and potential litigation, in Executive Session, and discussing and potentially voting on said acquisition in Open Session. The docket notes that this action comes as “a result of completion of formal appraisal and presentation of re-development plan as presented by Marshall Development at the previous City Council meeting of April 20, 2021.”

KMG is in favor of an open discussion on this matter, but is firmly opposed to the taking of a vote without a full public and properly-noticed hearing. So far, the public has been kept in the dark regarding the independent appraisal, which KMG vigorously supported. Without knowing the results of the appraisal, the residents and taxpayers of East Providence have no factual evidence on which to base a considered opinion on whether or not it is feasible to proceed with eminent domain.

KMG urges the Council to discuss the issue at this hastily-scheduled special meeting as planned and divulge the outcome of the appraisal. It further strongly urges that the Council schedule a public hearing, with the usual three weeks’ notice, and a vote at a date to be determined. At that point, all interested residents will have had an opportunity to digest the facts and figures and comment knowledgeably.

The development of Metacomet has been at the forefront of public discussion since the end of June 2020, when Marshall Properties first disclosed its “village within a village” plan to the advisory East Providence Planning Board. Over the last 10 months, Marshall and KMG have vied for public and Council support, one determined to develop Metacomet and the other determined to save the open and green space it offers.

KMG views the ultimate decision to preserve this space, or allow it to be developed, as monumental and not to be taken hastily and without full notice to the people of East Providence before the vote is taken.

The April 29, 2021 special meeting of the Council will be held at East Providence City Hall at 7pm, with Executive Session immediately followed by Open Session. The meeting is also available via Zoom, Meeting ID: 993 0796 0324, no passcode required.

Keep Metacomet Green! will hold a rally at City Hall that evening from 6-7pm.

Please contact KMG administrator Candy Seel at 401 749-8586 or candyseel@gmail.com  with questions.

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