ABC-6 Covers Mulligan’s Island/Big Box Controversy

Rachel McNally of Save Cranston’s Open Space just left a comment with a link to this ABC-6 story by reporter Parker Gavigan on the proposed development of Mulligan’s Island by Churchill & Banks. Seems like fairly good quality coverage for TV News.

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17 responses

  1. One thing to note is that the reporter states that C&B says that their plans call for a soccer field and updating an existing ball field, plans that we have not seen yet. I find that interesting because if Frank Migliorelli and Tony Liberatore want to hold off on appropriating bond money to that field than obviously they’ve seen the plans and are expecting the project to be approved so that C&B will pick up the tab.

    Also, both are part of the Mayor’s staff which means that if they have seen any plans, than I would imagine that he has as well.

  2. It doesn’t matter whether they build a few fields. Developing that land will add nothing to the area and will only cause headaches for the surrounding neighborhoods including mine. It will create a nice big open eyesore for everyone to look at everytime they leave their homes, that is if we can get through the traffic. No thanks. If I want to see that, I’ll drive to Bald Hill Road or Route 1 in MA. If Churchill and Banks was sensitive to residents, they would withdraw their proposal. The last thing we need is another big development, there are WAY too many in the area already.

    I wonder if that rep from Churchill and Banks lives right next to any big box developments and if he ever would? Probably not.

    The city needs to step it up and squash this thing. Enough already. I’m personally offended that this is even on my radar screen. The fact that Churchill and Banks can come into our neighborhoods and try to shove this down our throats is really insulting. Go away already. Really, who do they think they are?

    Quite frankly, could they maybe be a little creative with a proposed development? They proposed the same cookie cutter development you see everywhere, they must use the same exact blue print for developments nationwide. These big box shopping zones won’t even be in style 20 years from now and then what, empty stores. Think about all the strip malls that were built and are now totally depressing eyesores. People like Churchill and Banks built those things too, and you know who gets stuck with them, us. People all across the country are rallying against big box developments for good reason.

    If our elected officials really cared what residents wanted, they would squash this thing now. IT CANNOT HAPPEN WITHOUT THE CITY’S BLESSING!!!!!

    Sorry for the rant, bad day at work, got home late and saw the story on 6. This is my city, my neighborhood and I don’t want it ruined.

    Last thought, how much $$ is that land worth. How much did the owner of Mulligan’s pay for it when the city granted him permission to use it.

  3. $500,000, do you think that’s what he’s selling it for to C&B??

  4. We need someone else to buy the land, turn it into a nice park. Wishful thinking. I’d prefer the cornfields be planted again.

  5. Richard Brown

    Jim,
    If the cornfields returned they could actually have a significant economic impact, at least locally. With our dependence on imported petroleum and our reluctance to develope alternative sources of energy, we have as a society painted ourselves into a corner. At the 11th hour we start to increase our use of ethanol. The corn that was once so readily available and affordable to dairy farmers is needed to “fuel” the production of ethanol. As a result the price of milk soars, up to $4.89 per gallon at Shaw’s recently. By turning the site into cornfields, local dairy farmers would have another source of feed for their cows. By purchasing local milk we attempt to reverse the domino effect that is taking place. While this will not significantly lower milk prices in the area, it would be a step in the right direction. The discussion we had the other night about turning Mulligan’s into a wind farm or solar panel bank
    is in my opinion not science fiction. The money the city pays now for electricity to power and run all city buildings is staggering. If the city buildings could be powered by one of these alternative sources of energy, the savings would surpass any amount of tax revenue that the Centre at Garden Hills could promise the city.

  6. Rachel,

    Outstanding news clip but why have only McFarland and Barone come out and said no, my constituents don’t want it. Napolitano is taking canvassing the neighborhood to get a read? All he needs to do is read the blogs. Ask yourself, why hasn’t Lanni, Santa Maria, Bucci and the others come out in support of the residents. Get them on the record now. Last night the neighbors of Forest Hills were sent away without relief from commercial encroachment. We were told we are “anti-business”. The Garabedian/Lanni political machine prevailed after a yearlong attempt to preserve their neighbor and their property values. Oddly enough, McFarland and Barone supported us. Santa Maria had been a steadfast and ardent supporter of the Forest Hills residents but succumbed to the pressures of that political machine.

    Even after we brought up this weeks poll in the Cranston Herald. Yesterday’s editorial stated ” According to a poll that has been on the Herald Web site for the last week, aside from the 40 percent of respondents who said they were looking to leave Cranston as soon as possible – presumably a response to the recent tax hike – most of those that took the poll said they lived in Cranston because of its great sense of community. We doubt crumbling buildings and interminably drawn-out rehabilitation projects fit into the definition of what makes a community great”.

    Our neighborhood unlike others have been attempting to remedy commercial encroachment into our neighborhood for 25 years. If we have learned one thing, it is get the politicians to support you from the get go.

    Although we lost for now, we are not beaten. We’ll let nature take its course. Quantify our damages and begin the battle again in a venue where the political machine has no power.

    You can rely on our support in your battle with the machine to preserve your quality of life, character of your neighborhood and your homes property values.

    On another note, we want to thank Rick for his address to the committee last evening. It’s was, well eloquent. Rick, you have a knack for public speaking. We all are very thankfull for your assistance.

  7. Jesse from Cranston

    My sense is that the majority of the Council do not want this proposal. They are not going on record yet to avoid potential litigation from the developers — I’ve seen this happen in town after town: if too many Councilors talk about killing a plan, the developer “lawyers up” and start lawsuits. Then the city is almost paralyzed with court hearings and virtually defenseless against the developer. This is especially true for the citywide council members, so I don’t seen them saying anything right away. But that shouldn’t lead people to believe that they’re going to support the plan.

    I’d counsel patience here, and to let the process run its course on Mulligan’s Island (no pun intended).

    I’d also like to address this idea that last night’s meeting had anything to do with residents trying to “preserve their neighborhood.” The proposal that failed would have created a city ordinance requiring the city to automatically defeat any business plan that was opposed by 55% of surrounding neighbors, counted by petition. Residents may have legitimate issues, but giving homeowners veto power over the council on use of public streets is not the way to solve the problem. I’d also point out that 55% is just 11 out of 20 people; not to mention the fighting that would inevitably occur within a neighborhood if some residents disagreed.

    The failed proposal would have promoted bullying and political posturing (both of which, personally, I have seen enough in the Domestic issue). On one part of this issue, I actually agree with Tom: the answer, if you’re dissatisfied with elected officials, is to vote them out of office — but I would quickly add that I don’t agree with creating mob-enforced veto power as a legitimate alternative.

  8. Folks, I refer you to th eweb address below. It sums up what happened to the residents of Forst Hills last night, and just may be a glimpse into future for those that live in other neighborhoods through out the city.

    caveat emptor

    http://www.ward2.org/

  9. Rick, those are terrific, revenue making ideas. Before Mulligans, one’s eye would be on the eye sore behind it. Mulligan’s came and the attention is to the families and golfer’s, not the jail. I do not like the Cornfield idea because Politicians like to say that ethanol is environmentally friendly, but these claims must be put into perspective. Although corn is a renewable resource, it has a far lower yield relative to the energy used to produce it than either biodiesel or ethanol from other plants. Moreover, ethanol yields about 30 percent less energy per gallon than gasoline, so mileage drops off significantly. Finally, adding ethanol raises the price of blended fuel because it is more expensive to transport and handle. So, if we don’t adopt policies based on science and sound economics, consumers around the world may suffer – so it matters what we do here in Cranston.

    Windturmbine are a fanstic idea, although some will surely argue it will kill birds, bats etc. However, I think we do need to compromise and the environmentalist need to agree losing some birds and bats or whatever (see opposition letter to the editor in today’s journal)to having increased diesal, exhaust and commercial runnoff compared to keeping open space and reaping money for the City. I love it!

    “If you never budge, don’t expect a push.� – Malcolm S. Forbes

    Frank Migliorelli and Tony Liberatore do appear to unfairly know more than us. It appears as though there is some special attention being awarded to C&B….they should be including Mr. Barone (Ward 6 rep) and he should be insisting on hearing these projections that seem to sway the City Officials to not put money in to this field and playground.

  10. Any fears that council members may have of litigation are unfounded because of a US Supreme Court ruling on a case from Fall River in the 1990s. Here are just some excerpts from the decision.

    BOGANET AL . v. SCOTT-HARRIS 1998
    “Local legislators are entitled to the same absolute immunity from civil liability under §1983 for their legislative activities as has long been accorded to federal, state, and regional legislators.

    The rationales for according absolute immunity to federal, state, and regional legislators apply with equal force to local legislators. Regardless of the level of government, the exercise of legislative discretion should not be inhibited by judicial interference or distorted by the fear of personal liability.

    Furthermore, the time and energy required to defend against a lawsuit are of particular concern at the local level, where the part-time citizen-legislator remains commonplace. And the threat of liability may significantly deter service in local government, where prestige and pecuniary rewards may pale in comparison to the threat of civil liability.�

  11. Also, I agree with Jesse. Starting canvassing who you want to replace the dead weight and unseat them! Just do it, especially when memory issues, and clear stated conclicts of interest are stated by the offical…red flags should be flying. Another tell tale problem are those that help when they chose – typically coming out of the woodwork right before election. Some are not loud enough on the issues, while others lead for the pack.

    There is no show good enough on TV those one or two nights out of the month that I think we residents can attend. Really, it’s our right. Watching it later on cable is useless – you need to be there.

    But Kudos to Rachel, Lori and Tom who are all advocating for change with a podium and are hammering away (which their reps should be doing) to shed the light on these subjects that could have just been water under the quite little stream….but instead…..have prepared the people to be in a state of City in Emergency.

  12. All, setting the record straight. I think 55% or 11 out of 20 is called a majority? And there were no covenants in the ordinance that would have required the city to automatically defeat any business plan that was opposed by 55% of surrounding neighbors, counted by petition. Those that know me may describe me a colorful and persistent. I believe what I believe and I fight for what I think is right. I also say what’s on my mind. So with that, I need to say, and I’ll apologize if anyone finds it ofensive, but sometimes when I read the misinformation on this blog, well, I get a desire to head out to the local CVS and buy a box of “Depends”.

  13. Tom, I don’t want to contribute to misinformation either. Could someone post a copy of the full ordinance as it was proposed so that readers can be informed on what the document actually said?

  14. I’ll ask for Councilman Navarro for a copy. Shouls have it next week

  15. Kiersten, Would you provide your e-mail address. The document will un all liklihood be a pdf. I will forward it to you upon receipt

  16. The original ordinance specified 6 streets in the Forest Hills neighborhood. The revised ordinance applies to the entire city. Councilwoman McFarland made it clear that during revision and review of the ordinance, there were many areas of the city that have parking problems in the neighborhood. Why doesn’t the council people that voted no- come up with a plan? Isn’t that there responsibility? We pushed our councilman to research and write the original ordinance. I think council should be coming up with the ideas, and then presenting to us. Would that have gone through with just the six streets? The city still has parking problems. What is the “king” doing about it?

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