March 2, 2024

A Message from KMG

Posted

Some three and a half years ago, the founding mothers of Keep Metacomet Green came together with the mission of… keeping Metacomet green. Our group has grown from five to over 2,900 members—most with an East Providence connection, to be sure, but others who enjoy the nearby bike path and viewing the peace and serenity of the rolling hills of Metacomet. Others are concerned with environmental issues like climate change and the fate of the coyotes and deer. Still others enjoy the scenic bliss of Veterans Memorial Parkway and rue the prospect of traffic jams during their daily commutes.

Nearly every Saturday since the summer of 2020, weather permitting, we have rallied in support of our cause, either at City Hall or at busy intersections or at Metacomet itself, standing in front of the padlocked gate, signs in hand. In three and a half years, honks and waves from passersby haven’t decreased at all and, in fact, have increased as time has gone on. Over the years, we’ve encouraged local officeholders who support developing Metacomet to join us some Saturday to see what we see and hear what we hear. We’ve gotten no takers.

The general public is beginning to turn its attention to what’s happening at Metacomet, and many don’t like what they’re seeing. Sixty plus acres of up to 5-story residential and commercial units. Plans for 890 households by the time they’re done. Just picture a couple of Christine Apartment complexes there, plus 153,000 square feet of retail, with a 90,000sf grocery store anchoring the retail area. Two thousand three hundred thirty-three paved parking spaces. The razing of 269 existing trees on the site. A roundabout on the Parkway at Lyon Avenue, another at South Broadway. Two entrances from the Lyon Avenue side. A sign at the Parkway entrance more in tune with Mineral Spring Avenue than the historic Parkway. Residences and dining establishments geared toward people from outside East Providence who make more money than we do. I’m not making this up. Look at the project materials for Metacomet on the Waterfront Commission’s website at https://www.eastprovidencewaterfront.com/projects/

The die has been cast. The previous City Council approved the rezone of the property and the amendment of our City’s Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning Board and Waterfront Commission have followed right along. Unless something totally unexpected happens—like I win Megabucks—the property will be developed. It is up to us as concerned residents and citizens to make sure that those charged with making crucial decisions going forward will abide by every state and federal statute, city ordinance, and rule and regulation. It is our public duty. Already, the Waterfront Commissioners have been advised that design guidelines for Metacomet are merely suggestions, not the mandates that are spelled out in the Waterfront District’s own 2003 Plan. Be vigilant. Be aware. Know what’s going on.

How do you keep vigilant? How do you know what’s going on? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at kmg4ep@gmail.com.  We have our eye on everything, and we’ll tell you the truth every time.

Candy Seel
Co-Director
Keep Metacomet Green

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