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STATE HOUSE – On Tuesday, September 26th, 2017, Chair of the Republican Policy Group, who studies RhodeMapRI issues, Representative Sherry Roberts, (R-Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) attended a Public Hearing held before the Town Council of the Town of Exeter, during a Special Meeting of the Exeter Town Council. The meeting was originally scheduled to consider proposed amendments to the Town of Exeter Zoning Regulations concerning Exeter Farm and Forest Accessory Business Overlay. Plans to consider the ordinance amendment was cancelled after a significant number of farmers and Exeter residents attended, to oppose the plans.
At the meeting, Representative Roberts alerted attendees that GrowSmart's Scott Millar who had been advocating for this ordinance to pass in Exeter was in fact, part of the consortium of people who originally helped create the controversial RhodeMapRI State Guide Plan. Similar proposals by GrowSmart in other parts of the state, including Foster, have been shot down recently.
Rep. Roberts commented, “This proposal is just one of many proposals initiated by GrowSmart in which they have been and will continue to approach individual towns, seeking to change zoning ordinances incrementally, for the purpose of circumventing residents constitutional rights to their personal property.”
“According to the RI Rising's own words, "In order to seize land and create growth centers, ordinances must be changed." She added.
“While RhodeMap purports to farmers that they want to preserve their rural lands, RhodeMap has stated that it seeks to use the land to develop walkable communities where people live in high density, such as in compact high rises but that this would be a challenge to achieve without changing zoning ordinances in municipalities.”
At the meeting, Rep. Roberts stated, "Make no mistake, this is an assault on the American dream and I wouldn't trust a representative from GrowSmart for a single second. In fact, if GrowSmart comes into any Rhode Island town, I advise residents to send them packing."
Rep. Roberts urges residents to be on notice and to become informed about what RI Rising/RhodeMap is and to reject GrowSmart if it should show up in any town.
For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903