FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COVENTRY – The town of Coventry seeks resident perspective during an upcoming community meeting focused on the update to its Comprehensive Plan. Since March 2004, the town has been without an adopted plan. Newly hired Planning Director, Herb Durfee says, “It’s time to refocus some of the town’s attention toward the plan which serves as one of the community’s most important documents”. Since 2004, the town on several occasions has started the necessary update but hasn’t gotten to the finish line. The closest the town got to adopting an updated plan was in 2010. But, the final draft failed to pass muster with the state’s review process and, thus, it never was adopted. The most recent effort to update the plan, though on a positive track, was thwarted in 2018 due to COVID and, the inability of the group to meet or to obtain continuing public participation.
Now, with the allowance to once again meet in-person, with new staff including Herb Durfee and Benjamin Marchant, Town Manager, and with BETA Group – a hired consulting firm to help write and coordinate the plan, Coventry is poised to pick up where the plan update left off in 2018.
Simply described, a comprehensive plan is a town’s vision for what it wants its community to look like. It’s the bundle of policies and goals with related maps and other information defining what type of development the town wants to see and where it should (and should not) locate and to what degree of intensity – that is, how densely built. The town plan defines the balance between the built and the natural environment, while contributing to Coventry’s desired sense of place and quality of life.
According to Rhode Island state law, the town’s plan must include nine key elements including consideration for natural resources, open space and outdoor recreation, historical and cultural resources, housing (including affordable housing), economic development and agriculture, services and facilities including energy and potable water, circulation and transportation, natural hazards, and, land use. Durfee notes that, “While state law requires that information, most importantly, the plan works to help a community be who and want it wants to be. It also works in Coventry’s favor to have an adopted plan when it comes to applying for grants, directing growth and development, lending backbone to the creation and update of town regulations, and offering local officials a guidebook for decision-making rooted in consistency and continuity”.
To help with the update to the plan, Durfee is inviting the community to participate in a public forum on Wednesday, May 25 at the Resource & Senior Center at 50 Wood st. beginning at 6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Any questions may be directed to Durfee at the Planning & Development Department by calling 401-822-9184 (M-F, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm) or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. May 20, 2022.