Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mount Hope Farm Master Plan continued to next week

The passage of the Mount Hope Farm Trust master and preliminary review was not decided last night and has been continued. Members of the PB (Planning Board) want to do a walk- around at the farm and see other options for the "four season" greenhouse(s) in terms of location. (ie "not in the middle of an open beautiful meadow" Chuck Millard) Wishing Stone Farm in Little Compton has four season greenhouses and finds them successful.

Jim Farley, President of the Mount Hope Farm Trust, noted that many of the ideas in the Mount Hope Farm Master Plan remain "experimental" and are in their very early stages. He said grant monies hinge on the passage of the master plan.

The wind turbine element will no longer be a part of this project and was withdrawn. The PB with encouragement from Ken Marshall TC Chair and others, decided they need to wait and see how it fits into the larger scheme of the nine town feasibility study of the newly formed East Bay Energy Coalition who just received $140K in grant money from the RI Foundation and the EDC in Providence.

The next PB meeting to decide location of greenhouse(s) and other issues will be on Tuesday July 21 at 7pm at Town Hall.
The walk around at the farm is on: Monday July 20 at 2 pm.

Please pass the word to interested parties.

There were many neighbors from Bristol Landing and Weetamoe who were not hot on the idea of developing the farm in any way. The crux is that the farm needs to figure out a way to make money and sustain itself but still stay as natural open space enjoyable to the citizens of Bristol. Ken Marshall, TC chair, brought up the idea of the possible need for a "conservation workshop" where ideas could be exchanged as well as discussion of the actual meaning of "conservation". (Ray DeLeo agreed.) Ken also suggested a "tree farm" as a way the farm might make money.

There was talk of the new concrete tent pad(s) (approx 50' x100') at Cove Cabin turning the area into a "wedding factory" (Tony Murgo). The tent would remain permanently up from May to October. Noise abatement was brought up and all involved parties thought a good idea. Ray DeLeo brought up the mission of preserving and protecting the farm and asked if that could be translated into "making money" for the farm. He also asked to defer all action on this master and preliminary plan until information from groups such as: state and local historical, conservation, the MH Farms board of trustees, the RI state use planning and land use had been thoroughly reviewed and discussed. Steve DeLeo brought up information from the Mount Hope Farm Trust long term strategies plan noting it included 60 new guest rooms in existing buildings and 5 new buildings.

Got any ideas? Come to the walk around or the meeting next Tuesday July 21 at 7 pm Town Hall.
Mount Hope Farm is your treasure.

No comments: