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Tiverton Town Planner Has His Work Cut Out for Him [1/8/06 Newport Daily News]

Christopher Spencer, Tiverton's first full-time planner, began work today.

Town Administrator W. Glenn Steckman III said there are a few priority projects he'd like to see Spencer work on. They include the Bourne Mill in the north end that is being targeted for rehabilitation into housing units; making sure the recently approved comprehensive community plan is reflected in the town's zoning codes; working with a committee to design standards for the north end business district; and helping to redesign space in the Town Hall to make the space more efficient.
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Tiverton farm protected from developers by easements [1/25/2007 Daily News]

235-acre plot on Crandall Road, called Middle Acres Farm, is protected.

From the Daily News...

Conservation easements, costing $1.5 million, recently were bought from Lebreux by The Nature Conservancy, several state and federal organizations and a private foundation in what is being termed a "bargain-sale transaction."

That move was made possible by The Nature Conservancy, the state Department of Environmental Management's Farmland Protection and Local Grants Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Coalition for Buzzards Bay, and the Champlin Foundations.

"It's so critical to the Westport River system and watershed," said John Berg, The Nature Conservancy's Sakonnet Landscape manager. Lebreux's land forms a valley, edged on one side by Weetamoo Woods, which is part of one of the largest forest tracts in the area. It sits astride an aquifer that is a main source of fresh water for the west branch of the Westport River.

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Ding Dong! The Mall is Dead?!

New England Development has withdrawn its application to build a large retail development on Souza Road near the Fish Road exit of Route 24. From today's Daily News:

The Newton, Mass., company last week withdrew its appeal to the town's Zoning Board of Appeal that sought to overturn a November 2005 decision of the Planning Board to deny the master plan for the retail center. New England Development wanted to build a 275,000-square-foot upscale retail development on 44 acres adjacent to Route 24. The withdrawal of the project comes a little more than a month after the state Supreme Court denied an appeal by New England Development. The company asked that the Planning Board's administrative officer be ordered to approve the project by default for failing to meet a statutory deadline for a decision on the project.

"This whole thing came as a complete surprise," Town Solicitor Andrew Teitz said of the withdrawal of the appeal. "They led us to believe they were going to fight this all the way. NED is gone unless they come back with a new plan. If they want to do their shopping center, NED would have to start from scratch."

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