Comprehensive plan should guide
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed rezoning of the Mallory Scott Farm. The town put a lot of time (five years), effort and good judgement into the comprehensive plan in 2009 and the town should stick to the plan.
I refer you to the existing plan; under Goals and Objectives, the Major Goal Statement includes phrases like “pro-active growth management,” “protect and enhance unique qualities of Smithfield’s small town charm” and “preserve and protect the Town’s waterfront areas and sensitive environmental areas.” This is the plan in place that took FIVE YEARS to develop. This is the plan we need to adhere to.
I also invite you to reread in the existing comprehensive plan Chapter VI A Battery Park North Planning Area. You will find references to “poor soil conditions” and “soils in the vast majority of the planning area are highly susceptible to high shrink-swell.” Under the Environmental Considerations in this chapter, you will find “poor soil characteristics,” “marshlands” and “of the 417 acres 29% identified as prime development potential. However these prime developable lands will not support dense development due to poor soil compatibility.”
Further, this chapter goes on to say “no development should take place in the vast amount of vacant land in the Planning area until the water and sewer distribution systems are significantly upgraded to adequately serve the planned ones.” The current zoning plan calls for between 126 and 378 housing units. The planners specifically noted that the area is “not suitable for massive buildings and extensive parking; therefore low density single family attached residential would be most efficient use of the property. The siting of new homes should be gently placed within the angular terrain, employing extensive landscaping and minimal earthwork.”
There is nothing about the proposed development that could conform to any of these very well thought out requirements.
I’m sure the allure of a big developer is enticing; however, we can all agree that nothing in Napolitano’s plan aligns with the very well thought out plan that our town leaders developed. I urge the town to reject the proposal to rezone this property.