Letter to the Westerly Town Council:
I want to start by saying we absolutely love Westerly. We moved here full time four years ago, and prior to that we spent the summers here for 15 years. Westerly is a great place in both summer and winter. The shops and restaurants downtown are fabulous, as well as the residents. We have met many people and all have been very welcoming. Strolling through downtown and Wilcox Park, or just sitting and people-watching is very relaxing to us. In addition, Westerly is naturally beautiful. We enjoy our beaches, open space, walking trails and parks year-round.
We live on Lawton Avenue and do not discourage our neighbors from renting their homes and cottages, as it is great for our economy. However, over the past few years, we have noticed increased traffic in the summertime. As residents, this prohibits us from doing our necessary weekend errands like going to the post office and grocery shopping. Since I work full time, my weekends are generally when I can do these things.
The intense traffic in the summer will only increase if the specific development plan sanctioned in the new proposed Comprehensive Plan allowing “mixed-use” development of the Winnapaug Golf Course. I imagine the negative impact of adding hundreds of hotel rooms and housing units to our fragile environmental area will be detrimental. Rhode Island’s Coastal Resource Management Council has already determined that the area is beyond the ability to support further residential development. Yet the proposed Comprehensive Plan continues to push increases in density in residential neighborhoods. This will only bring more congestion, traffic, sewage, and runoff into the salt pond. Furthermore, damage to wildlife and habitat, damage to our aquifer, increased greenhouse gasses, and general pollution.
As it is now, we cannot even enjoy the beach on the weekends. What will happen if you continue to build more and more? The majority of Westerly’s residents do not want more development. Let’s preserve and maintain what precious little open space and natural resources we have left.
Please do not approve the Winnapaug golf course plans for development.
Robyn & Edmund Generali