To the Editor:
I am writing this letter to discuss the recent article written titled “Cumberland Farms plan goes before council without recommendation” written by Thomas Greenberg. After reading this article, one specific section really stuck out to me:
“…The rub is that the public doesn’t like what the redevelopment is going to look like...”
After listening to close to 40 comments by the public on this issue, it concerns me that the take away Mr. Pezzullo got was only that the Edgewood Preservation Society and the neighbors in Edgewood’s main concern is what the development will look like.
Mr. Editor, I would like to clarify what a few of our biggest concerns are, far more important than what the development will “look” like.
1. 40 homeowners within 300 feet of this development will lose eligibility for HUD/FHA loans, meaning they cannot refinance nor can they sell their houses to anyone who is using that type of loan to finance their home. This in itself shows how the city will knowingly cause a decrease in value of property that homeowners can do nothing about.
2. Home values will decrease now that they are within the 300-foot radius of this new development. Homes will now have this gas station as their backyard and subsequently lose value in the housing market.
3. There will be an increased risk of pediatric cancer from benzene fumes for not only the 10 kids living on Henry Street, but any child near this development and any child walking by it daily to go to school.
4. Traffic will increase on this already busy road, especially during peak times and times in which kids walk to school.
5. Small business owners will be put out of business. Owners who have been in the Edgewood neighborhood for over 20 years. Owners who are lifelong Cranston residents. Owners who have followed all rules and regulations set forth by the city, even when they did not set any for the owner of the current property being questioned, causing his property to reach the state it has today.
With all the discussion about the upcoming city ordinance decision on April 12th, which will change the zone layout of the corner of Warwick Avenue and Park Avenue to a complete zone 3 allowing a Cumberland Farms to be established there, makes one wonder how the above fits into the comprehensive plan that aims to develop the city but also protect existing homes and business owners.