Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Fellow Citizens of Barrington: Your Community Needs Your Help"

Have a say in how our neighborhoods are developed and how our hard earned tax dollars are spent. Please donate today to help CODDER 02806 see this effort thru!

CODDER 02806 is a Barrington grassroots organization that has been fighting for our community since May of 2012 to prevent construction of the Palmer Pointe housing development that will abut the environmentally sensitive Palmer River.


"Misappropriation of Spencer Trust Fund resources by providing money to support Low to Middle Income Housing (LMIH) endeavors."
"Providing LMIH tax subsidies that will burden our community through use of the 8% tax abatement program."
"Ignoring objectives raised by the community due to a poorly developed affordable housing plan."
"Lack of concern for protection of ecologically sensitive areas, particularly the Palmer River and surrounding coastlines." 

CODDER 02806 is not opposed to Low to Middle Income Housing (LMIH) but it must be implemented in a manner that is not overly dense and isolated. Instead, LMIH should be responsibly integrated within the community, consider protection of our water bodies, and protect the "health and safety" of our residents by considering traffic congestion and the well being of pedestrians and neighbors.

CODDER has hired legal counsel and has managed to further prevent progression of construction for Palmer Pointe by enacting litigation in the Rhode Island Superior Court. CODDER has managed to raise 70% of the funds necessary to finance the litigation process due to the generosity of concerned Barrington citizens.
We are asking that you continue to help us take this fight to the end by making a much needed contribution. Your contribution will benefit you and all of Barrington by helping us defeat construction of this ill-advised project.  Please stand with us!
A self-addressed envelope has been enclosed for mailing contributions to:
CODDER 02806
P.O. Box 133
Barrington, RI 02806

Thank you in advance for your help.  It is greatly appreciated!   
CODDER 02806 is a grassroots organization that is striving to maintain the character of our community by advocating for open green space and protection of our water bodies through implementation of environmentally responsible actions regarding all future construction.  Visit

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November Letter to Editor

To the editor:
In a Nov. 13 letter to the editor, a Barrington resident inquired about the identity of CODDER 02806 suggesting there was something “fishy” about it. We thought it was a reasonable inquiry deserving a response.
CODDER 02806 is an acronym for “Committee Opposed to Detrimental Development and for Environmental Responsibility”.  The initiative for the creation of our committee, which now numbers 10 residents of the Hampden Meadows community, was the interest of a housing developer, the East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), to construct 50 or more corporate owned apartment rental units for low and moderate income housing tenants on what is now 5.6 buildable acres of land (i.e. 9 units per acre) on the Sowams Nursery property on Sowams Road. The land abuts the Palmer River and is otherwise bounded exclusively by owner-occupied single family residential houses zoned R10 (4 units/acre) and R25 (2 units/acre).
The Sowams Nursery is itself zoned R25 which permits no more than 2 units per acre, a fact generally known and understood by abutting, contiguous and community neighbors.
A grass roots group of residents affected by the construction project informally met in May 2012 to discuss ramifications of the project. We concluded that the project was not in the best interests of either the town or the thousands of residents of the Hampden Meadows community. A committee was formed to research the many facets of the project, and this committee came to be known as CODDER 02806. Since that date we have done the following:
• Conducted several door-to-door solicitations of signatures to a petition in opposition to the EBCDC project, collecting 527 resident signatures, almost all in the Hampden Meadows community.
• Made numerous requests of the town for information made available under state law
• Done extensive research concerning the ecological consequences of the EBCDC proposal
• Establish a web site ( explaining in detail the grounds for our objection to the project
• Written many letters to town boards and committees explaining in detail the reasons for our objections to the project
• Attended all public meetings of the planning board,town council, housing committee, and technical review committee in their deliberations concerning the proposed housing development, identifying ourselves as members of CODDER 02806 and presenting our point of view.
• Authored numerous  letters and notices published in the Barrington Times and Barrington Patch encouraging attendance at town meetings, and providing commentary on the many issues involved.
• Amassed an e-mail contact list which provides up-to-date information
• Hired an attorney who has commenced litigation in the R.I. Superior Court naming the town planning board and the EBCDC as defendants. This litigation was begun in response to the planning board approval of the master plan of the EBCDC. The planning board, which reduced the number of units to 42, may still reject the application of the EBCDC in other phases of the application process once their own studies of the issues are completed.
We hope this responds adequately to the writer’s  inquiry.
CODDER 02806
- See more at:

Friday, October 18, 2013


On Aug. 29th 2013 CODDER 02806 filed suit with RI Superior Court, appealing the town Planning Board's decision to approve the EBCDC generalized Master Plan to install 42 Low and Moderate Income apartment rental units on 5.6 Acres of the Sowams Nursery Property. We have reached more than 50% of our objective of $25,000 and continue to raise funds for our legal costs to protect our neighborhoods and take this fight to the end. Please stand with us! Contribute today at CODDER 02806, Inc., P.O. Box 133, Barrington, R.I. 02806.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Clarity on the Low to Moderate Income Housing "Mandate"

There seems to be some confusion on whether the Low to Moderate Income Housing Act is a law with stiff penalties for non-compliance.

It is not.

The LMIH Act is a "goal". This goal created a process whereby towns must show a clear intent to eventually have 10% of their housing be LMIH compliant. The town shows this intent by updating the Comprehensive Plan to include that, eventually through rehabilitation and new construction, 10% of housing will be affordable as defined by the LMIH legislation.

That is the extent of the Town's responsibility. There is no written nor direct penalty for not having this goal in the Comprehensive Plan. Importantly:
  • There is no strict timetable by which a town must be compliant. 
  • There is no written rule that says LMIH-compliance supercedes any other consideration the town makes when reviewing proposed housing projects. In fact, within the Act, Section 45-53-4 (Line 4(v)) clearly states the opposite.
Upon establishing the plan (which itself has a process), it is up to housing developers to propose housing projects, and whether rehabilitation or new construction projects, include housing units that would be LMIH eligible. The Town then reviews each project against a wide array of factors, only one of which is whether it helps achieve the LMIH goal. Other factors are considered of equal or greater importance as well, including conservation, appropriateness for an area, ability for infrastructure and social and civil services to support, and so on.

As you can read about in the History section, some of this was considered when an earlier proposed development of Sowams Nursery was rejected. CODDER02806 is concerned this same level of push-back is not being applied to this even higher density project.

If a Town does not agree with a plan, it can reject the plan. At this point, the developer who proposed the plan can appeal the Town's rejection with the State Housing Appeals Board (SHAB), as defined in Section 45-53-5 (c). During this appeal, SHAB will use as part of its criteria items defined in Section 45-53-6, including an evaluation on a Town's progress towards achieving the goal of having 10% of housing units be available for LMIH applicants, and an evaluation of the Town's Comprehensive Plan to see if that has a clear path to the goal.

If SHAB concludes the Town rejected the plan in error, it can override the Town's rejection and the result is the developer can proceed with the project. However, even at this point, the Town can elevate the case to the State Superior Court, as defined in Section 45-53-4 (a)(4)(x).

CODDER02806 feels there are numerous strong cases to be made against putting a 48-unit corporate own dense housing project on the nursery, and we are working very hard to present ongoing evidence to the town by researching information and documents that clearly support rationale for opposing the development.

The process established by this Act does put the onus on the Town to prepare a strong case against the proposed development. However, as evidenced by the above, there are many steps in this lengthy process, making it neither a foregone conclusion nor a "done deal".

Barrington is not yet at the 10% level. However, nor are most other towns in Rhode Island. Of the few towns that are at or above the 10% level, all but Newport was already there at the time the mandate was passed. The LMIH Act was intended for Towns to balance all needs, and along the way achieve the goal.

We do not feel this project balances all of the needs of the town, nor does it adequately acknowledge all aspects of the Comprehensive Plan the Town itself wrote and amended. And we certainly do not see the need to fast track a high density project in an inappropriate area, when other options are clearly included in the Act.

We hope this clears up some the confusion surrounding the actual and implicit goals of the proposed development of Sowams Nursery.

Friday, July 26, 2013

UPDATED: Watch NBC 10 this Sunday

During NBC 10 News this Sunday, Bill Rappleye will be discussing the controversial Palmer Pointe project with June Speakman of the Barrington Town Council, Gary Morse, a concerned citizen about the project and finances around it, and others. 

Tune in to Channel 10 at 11:30am this Sunday (7/28), or can be watched online at: 

And be sure to check back at for more details and a writeup.

Setting the Record Straight... AGAIN

In keeping with the tidal wave of disinformation being currently offered by the Barrington Town Planner, an article in the Barrington Times dated July 24, 2013 concerning the proposed Sowams Nursery subdivision by the East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC)offers the following:  “Mr. Hervey said the type of zoning for that area –Village zone – calls for five units per developable acre of land.

Unless the Barrington Town Building Official, Zoning Department and all current Town zoning maps, including those in the Barrington Comprehensive Community Planare incorrect, the Sowams Nursery, the site of the proposed subdivision, is not a “Village Zone”. As seen on page 19 of the Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan (or see the third Map on our Library page, or on, Sowams Nursery is zoned R25, which means “Residential,  25,000 square feet, or 2 units per acre". The property has been so zoned for decades.

We will continue our campaign to state the facts concerning this ill conceived $14.5 million, Corporate owned, multi-unit apartment rental complex based on factual information, and reliance on the law which offers reasonable and  reliable standards for the denial of the project.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Getting Serious: Fundraising officially begins!!

Since October, 2012 when we collected more than 500 signatures on a petition opposing construction of a $14.5 million multi-unit, Corporate owned, rental apartment complex on the Sowams Nursery (zoned R25 – i.e. 2units per developable acre) we have provided the reading and listening public and town Boards and Committees with a vast array of information, law and argument concerning the proposed subdivision. Much of this information is available on our web site CODDER02806.COM

It has become obvious in recent meetings conducted by Town Officials, involving lawyers acting on behalf of the East Bay Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), that there is an imbalance between the needs of the town, the goals of the Low to Moderate Income Housing legislation, the actions of the EBCDC, and the tenor of meetings with town officials. As a result, and because our argument for denial of the EBCDC’S application is ultimately grounded in the law, we have retained the services of our own Attorney.

After speaking with and vetting a number of possible candidates we happily discovered, and engaged the services of, Attorney J. William W. Harsch, with offices in Warwick (his resume can be found on our web site). Attorney Harsch represented us at the last Planning Board Meeting on July 16th 2013, introducing expert testimony in rebuttal of prior testimony elicited by the EBCDC.

Our overall objectives are simple:
  • Ensure the integrity of our zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations throughout Barrington
  • Protect ecologically sensitive areas, particularly the Palmer River and coastlines.
  • Ensure the town achieves the commitments they set forth in the Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan by protecting the character of neighborhoods.
  • Protect the “health and safety” of our residents as those terms are used in applicable law (i.e. traffic, sewer capacity and condition, sidewalks etc.)
  • Require compliance with state ordained standards for denying Comprehensive subdivision plans such as the EBCDC’S.
  • Protect Barrington from the inevitable costs to residents that this project would produce. 
Contributions should be made payable to CODDER 02806, INC. and sent to:

CODDER 02806, INC.
P.O. Box 133
Barrington, R.I. 02806

We will be providing periodic updates on how we're tracking towards goals.


(posted on Patch as well)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This weeks' updates

Three important articles this week appear in various publications.

  • Appearing in this week's Barrington Times print, on page 3 in the Opinions section: It has been an ongoing strategy of those few (in and out of Municipal Government) who support the ill advised $14.5 million Sowams Nursery apartment rental complex to employ strategies of disinformation in an effort to mold public opinion.
  • Read more in this article, and in today's Barrington Times
  • One aspect of the proposed development at Palmer Pointe that has not been widely discussed is the potential for the former agricultural business to have used, and subsequently contaminated soil on the property with, agricultural chemicals, such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.
  • Read more in this Patch article.
  • Since last fall, Palmer Pointe, a proposed affordable rental housing development off Sowams Road, has stirred opposition that has led to a more sweeping attack on affordable housing in this affluent town.
  • Read more in this Providence Journal article.