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Marshall Properties issues ultimatum on Metacomet Golf Course project



Plan B will not provide for public access, public open spaces, or walking trails. Plan B does not have lush vegetative buffers that exceed required setbacks. Plan B is less green with more developed area.

Marshall Properties wants to purchase and develop the Metacomet Golf Course in East Providence into a mixed use development, but they are meeting fierce opposition from East Providence residents who have organized into a group calling themselves Keep Metacomet Green. In order to get what they want, Marshall needs the East Providence City Council to enact a change to the zoning and a change to the city’s comprehensive plan. The East Providence City Council is scheduled to take this matter up at a September 25 meeting.

Public opposition has been strong, and may have been partially responsible for the ouster of State Senator William Conley, who, as a lawyer, decided to represent Marshall Properties against the residents of East Providence. Conley fell hard in the Democratic Primary, losing to newcomer Cynthia Mendes by a two-to-one margin.

Now Marshall Properties is holding what they are calling their “third community zoom meeting” tonight (Thursday, September 17) at 6pm “to provide an update on their redevelopment plans and discuss options for redeveloping the property.”

In their press release, Marshall was blunt about what these “options” will be. There is Plan A, where the community of East Providence gives Marshall Properties everything they are demanding, or a Plan B, where Marshall develops the land without giving any consideration to the community. As they say in their press release, “Plan B will not provide for public access, public open spaces, or walking trails. Plan B does not have lush vegetative buffers that exceed required setbacks. Plan B is less green with more developed area.”

Lianne Marshall, principal at Marshall Properties, was equally blunt in her statement:

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“Plan A keeps the Metacomet property greener and generates more tax revenue while developing less of the overall acreage. We are asking everyone to give this plan a second look and keep in mind that we have the right to redevelop the property under current zoning designations without a zone change. The Metacomet Country Club as we all know it will no longer exist. There are many reasons for the club’s demise and none of them have to do with Marshall Properties. The only question that remains is what will the future of the Metacomet property look like.”

In their press release, Marshall was clear about the nature of their ultimatum:

“Marshall Development hopes the choice will be abundantly clear to everyone. There is no plan C and the status quo is not an option, as the golf course will cease to operate in October.”

Marshall Properties has, in the event that the city elects to reject Plan A and keeps with current zoning, submitted Plan B to the City of East Providence in the form of a Master Plan application.

Here’s the link to tonight’s Zoom meeting:
Webinar ID: 995 0603 6753
Passcode: 501060

Previous reporting:

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.