Dear Observer neighbors and concerned citizens,

As newcomers to Smithfield, we’ve been both delighted and saddened. The six ecologies of Wolf Hill alone are enough to suit our interest in outdoor recreation, along with Smithfield’s Seven Scenic Trails.

However, the upcoming hearing to finalize the Sand Trace urban density housing project ushered in under since-abolished H-25 allowances, which is the size of five or so Wal-Mart sites, the largest single housing project in this town, next Thursday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center, must be well attended. Since ignoring 500 or so petition signatures opposed to anything like this in a 2-acre zoned, very lovely rural part of this town, with no sidewalks or shoulders for pedestrians as it is, back in 2018, our town planner is vigorously pursuing final approvals, without public review of the Environmental Impact Study results required in their 2019 approval.

Since the Smithfield Conservation Commission called for the renewed URI Watershed Watch monitoring of the Stillwater Reservoir and the Woonasquatucket, in August, a sensitive environment and national Heritage Waterway, they attended last week’s technical review of plans for the Sand Trace. Smithfield’s town engineer Kevin Cleary questioned the need to intensify the existing nutrient load, (that has resulted in blue green and red algae on running water behind Autumn Run and Shadow Brook Condos, as well as 7-foot-tall invasive bushes in the open waters). The developers should address this before building starts, and not wait until they are gone and the town has to deal with 160 homeowners. Runoff could include whatever heavy construction vehicles and up to 1,080 more cars in and out of Pleasant View Drive emit, with up to six cars parking at each double driveway. Traffic delays and backups during the five- to 10-year period will impact our schools and all citizens in general.

Much larger unanswered questions loom, due to the square footage of living space on the plans, with 30-foot front yards, and backyards that will eliminate public waterline access to the Stillwater basins for monitoring and hiking – a buffer indeed! The engineer of these plans also waived liability as not being a professional utility location company, and are not responsible for damages incurred as plans are approximate. Sediment traps are temporary and would require emptying and rebuilding. Visit www.ri.gov/DEM/wetlands/view.php?s1&serial=28396.

Please make every effort to attend and be heard at this important meeting in Smithfield’s future.

Cynthia Mulvey

Smithfield

(1) comment

CMulvey

The plan is also for a 3,600 foot long dead end street, while town zoning calls for a maximum of 700 feet. The fire dept. said they could drive over lawns in an emergency but I don't think any condo associations would readily allow this over watering systems and utility lines. Doesn't this one point call for a variance hearing? At what point in the process was due process abandoned?

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