standing Letters

The October 2020 edition of the Charlestown Town Hall Pipeline was mailed to every household and included a brochure announcing the draft Charlestown Comprehensive Plan and its availability for review. In early 2021, in response to initial input received, the Charlestown Planning Commission and Planning Department added some updates to the draft of Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan. The Plan continues to be available for review at the town’s website at https://www.charlestownri.org/compplan2020 and paper copies are available for loan at Town Hall and the Cross’ Mills Library.

Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan is based in part on the following Vision Statement: “Charlestown will be a community united by its desire to provide a healthy, high quality of life which depends upon the protection of its natural, cultural and historic resources. These resources also protect wildlife and mitigate future climate change, and provide economic benefits in terms of tourism. Limited facilities and service demands keep our property taxes low and thoughtful land stewardship and careful land regulation will ensure the same quality of life and experiences for future generations.”

But the plan is much more than that short statement. The plan is hundreds of pages long and includes a wealth of information and history about the town and its natural, built and historic resources. It is also written to comply with state of Rhode Island requirements, and each chapter has already received preliminary review and approval by different state agencies.

After over a year of public review of the proposed new Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Commission and the Town Council will now begin a public hearing at which changes may be made. When the plan is adopted, it will be sent again to the state for final approval. The different state agencies may also suggest further changes. A joint public hearing is scheduled by the Town Council and Planning Commission for April 14 at 7 p.m.

Chapter 12, the “Implementation” chapter, has all the action items from each chapter, and details how the plan will be used to protect Charlestown, proposals to modify regulation, or allow for change in our town, and who is responsible for each of those actions. We think the entire plan is worth reading, but if you don’t have time to read all 367 pages, the implementation chapter gives a good outline of what the plan is about.

Please have a look at the plan and email your comments to plan.comments@charlestownri.org. Also if you have photographs of Charlestown landscapes, wildlife, historic buildings, events or any other photographs that you think tell a story about Charlestown, please also email these to plan.comments@charlestownri.org and they may be included in the final Comprehensive Plan. Please include the photographer’s name so they can be given attribution.

Ruth Platner

Charlestown

The writer is the chairwoman of the Charlestown Planning Commission.

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