PROVIDENCE- At the final public hearing on Tuesday night, the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) announced that it had come to an agreement with the town of South Kingstown on five points of agreement relating to proposed program amendments to add new Section 980 Experimental Coastal Erosion Control to the Salt Pond Region Special Area Management Plan.
The consensus was a result of a July 9 meeting, when CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate and staff member James Boyd met with South Kingstown Town Manager Stephen A. Alfred, Director of Planning Vincent Murray, and Public Works Director Jon Schock at town hall to discuss the town’s request for modification of five elements of the proposed amendments, according to a memo from Fugate.
Both Alfred and Town Council President Ella Whaley were present at the public hearing on Tuesday with CRMC to show their support for South Kingstown. The main focus to hold the final public hearing was to have a hearing to adopt the amendments to come to a substantial agreement.
“I think it was important that we are here today and that we get the consideration of the council but we want to make sure that these changes are made,” said Alfred.
According to the memo, experimental erosion control methods are unconventional methods that are intended to control erosion along coastal beaches or capture sand in shallow water depths parallel to the beach in order to restore beach profiles.
The five points of agreements between the CRMC and town staff are:
• For the use of experimental erosion control measures under the proposed rules, CRMC has agreed to include South Kingstown Town Beach parcel (92-2:43) that abuts the existing revetment on the Matunuck Beach Trailer Association parcel (92-2:46).
• In order to inform property owners of experimental methods of systems that may be used, the town requested that a technical appendix be included. CRMC staff have drafted a “companion guidance document” that will be available before it is finalized for public use. As a guidance document, it will not be adopted as part of the proposed rules.
• The proposed rules do allow for hybrid measures, such as hard measures with soft ones. CRMC staff recommended adding additional clarifying language in the proposed guidance document regarding hybrid measures.
• A town resident will be included on the Technical Review Panel (TRP). This resident will be an ex-officio, non-voting member and will be selected by the town council.
• Concurrent removal of existing illegal structures during the installation of CRMC-approved experimental measures is required by the proposed rules. Additional clarifying language will be added to the proposed rules regarding the enforcement issue, notification, and process for order of removal.
Special Coalitions Liaison for Save the Bay Jane Kenney Austin was also present during the hearing and represented Save the Bay stating that they do not support the proposed changes to the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program.
The CRMC also approved the motion on the agenda to create a Marina Perimeter Limit around a long existing marina that was acquired by the town of Narragansett in August 2012. The marina is located at 95 Middlebridge Road.