0 Wilson Drive is a small lot on the Narrow River, adjacent to the public boat ramp on Pettaquamscutt Ave in Narragansett. This undeveloped lot is primarily a wetland, and its development would clearly harm the health of the Narrow River. The variances requested will put the house less than 13 feet from the Wetland and 10 feet from the road. The Planning Board, Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA) and the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) have all voiced opposition to the development of this lot.

The Pettaquamscutt Terrace Improvement Association (PTIA) and a number of local residents have hired an attorney and various experts to challenge the applicant’s experts at the Zoning Board Meeting. The outcome of this public hearing is still pending but anything could happen based on similar cases.

One startling fact was recently discovered in challenging the application. The owner of the lot has not paid taxes on the property since 2005. In fact, the Town of Narragansett acquired the property via tax sale in 2010. Over 100K in taxes and penalties are now due from the owner to regain ownership of the property. The PTIA and residents are now challenging the legality of the Application since the actual owner of the property, the Town of Narragansett, was not listed on the application. Also, on July 7, 2022, WPRI reported that the Town of Narragansett will receive monies to offer buyouts to certain homeowners that are in flood zones if they qualify for the buyout. This funding is made available through an Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The homes that qualify for the buyout will be removed and the land will be restored to its natural state.

The property at 0 Wilson Dr is in the Watershed and is already in its natural state. Therefore, developing this property will be yet another step backwards in the preservation of our Watershed and Waterways.

The choice is simple. If the Town of Narragansett is committed to the health of the Narrow River,  the original owner must pay all redemption costs in order to continue with this application to the Zoning Board. If the prior owner does not pay those redemption costs, the Town should foreclose the prior owner’s right of redemption and assign the ownership and maintenance of the property to the Narragansett Land Trust. We encourage residents of Narragansett to reach out to Council Members to urge them to assume full ownership of this property and assign it to the Narragansett Land Trust keeping in step with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

If interested, the detailed application, minutes of the Planning and Zoning Boards, NRPA comments and the preliminary report of the CRMC are available for review at Town Hall.

Ken Ryan


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