There has been extensive discussions on the Town Of Narragansett ordinances restricting  the number of students renting a house in Narragansett. Recent coverage of a proposed Narragansett Town Council’s workshop on the town ordinances limiting the number of students renting a house in Narragansett brought on the subsequent removal of the motion to amend the ordinance from a three-student limit to a four-student limit.

A recent editorial attacking a current Town Council member and emails to the council which were called “harsh,” magnifies the need to clear the air of misinformation. Clearly, there is an effort by small neighborhood resident groups and their spokespeople to bully and intimidate the current Town Council members.

Neighborhood group members often speak at the Town Council meetings’ open forums to spread disinformation since their statements cannot be rebutted or fact checked. They often talk about a “crisis” in the neighborhoods and that it is time to “take back” the neighborhoods. They focus on problems that occurred eight years ago but not the reality of today.  

The facts which dispute these claims must be made public. The progress being made in town over the past several years is never covered. The neighborhood groups dwell in the past and never address the progress made.

Several years ago, there was a large party in Eastward Look which necessitated town action. That is when Narragansett 2100, a non-profit group of landlords with property in Narragansett and Narragansett property managers, was formed. This was the first time that landlords were formally recognized and given a seat at the table. Narragansett 2100’s mission is to work with all groups to improve the quality of life in Narragansett. A good measure of the quality of life is the number of police nuisance/noise reports and the number of orange stickers issued.  Orange stickers are issued for more severe ordinance violations.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood groups and their small but vocal representation have turned a blind eye to any of the facts on progress made.

Since its inception, Narragansett 2100 has worked hard with the Narragansett police, landlords, URI students, URI student leaders and URI officials to coordinate efforts to educate both students and landlords as to what constitutes good behavior in the neighborhoods.  And frankly, what it means to be a good neighbor.

The results of more enforcement of existing ordinances and education have made a tremendous impact in improving the quality of life in Narragansett.

Here are the police department’s own statistics:  

Year to date compared to last year, nuisance/noise reports are down 55% and orange stickers issued are down 51%. Nuisance reports in Eastward Look are down 40% and orange stickers issued are down 43% from 14 to 8.

Since 2013 nuisance reports are down 75%.

Since 2016, nuisance reports in Eastward Look are down 50% and orange stickers issued are down 62%.  

The number of orange stickers issued in 2020, 39, is just 1.4% of all 2,700 rentals in Narragansett.

Arrests are down 51% since 2013.

Social hosting violations are down 57% since 2016.  

These are statistics kept during the academic year, Sept 1 to May 16, 37 weeks out of 52. So contrary to what the neighborhood groups say, the quality of life has improved every year over the past six years during these weeks. These decreases were not the result of any ordinances that limited number of renters.

The results were based on increased enforcement and education. It does work!

Limiting number of “persons” in a rental will not eliminate the rare 1% of nuisances or restrict “persons” from gathering in a larger group.

Let’s work together on enforcement of what we have on the books, continue to make Narragansett a vibrant town of beauty and community.

Thank you for your attention. It is time that the whole story got out.   

The author is a board member and director of communications of Narragansett 2100.

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