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Raise Voices for Senior Housing

Senior housing advocate Barbara Donovan pushes for development where affordable housing is now planned in Barrington.

Let’s talk some more about our Town.

Last week’s issue of the Barrington Times detailed for us what is currently being proposed for land development. I read with interest the plans for the projects at George St. and Sowams Rd.

George St.    – 1 and 2 bedroom cottage style units – sounds perfect for seniors !!

However, the location would not be suitable for seniors as it is much too remote.  And, I don’t really think that seniors want, or should have to, worry about septic systems, well  water (including drinking), and water storage tanks in case of fire.  Really sounds more like boy and girl scout camping units.

However, Sowams Road is of GREAT interest.  Now, if we could move those cottage style units to Sowams Road, we would have hit the target !!

6+ acres, with the possibility of expansion onto the west side of the road !!  WOW !! I think we should get out the signup sheets for all our seniors, ---Sowams East and Sowams West – No one will want to mss this opportunity.  Covers everybody, the morning people and the night owls.

My next letter will cover the retrofitting and rehabilitation of existing dwellings for low and moderate income housing to reach our ”suggested” ratios.  I think we can reach our goal in many ways – seniors should not be pushed into the back ground – we have a many rights as anyone to have housing with our peers and friends of many years without being “kicked out of town.”

How does that sound to all of my followers -- at least I hope I have some followers !! Can’t do this without you – make that call, write that letter, come to a meeting – we are many – let our voices be heard.

Barbara Donovan, 12 Manning Drive

Marge June 28, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Well it will be interesting to see what the Town of Barrington does do for the seniors who have spent their entire life here (myself included) paying taxes etc. This town has historically ignored their Seniors. With that said I am all ears to hear further news and comments.
Barbara Donovan June 28, 2012 at 06:36 PM
For some reason my goal for Sr. housing in Barrington has been mistaken. I am NOT proposing an "affordable" complex. I am proposing a retirement community for people over 55 who wish a compatible and comfortable place to live when they no longer want to stay in their homes. There are many reasons one might want to move into such a community. They are now alone because of the loss of spouse and want companionship, or perhaps just tired of cutting grass and shoveling snow, or a hundred other personal reasons. It's a win-win situation -- the seniors get their community living and the town gets it's tax money !! The government in their self appointed job of telling all of us how we should live is making our choices very difficult. There are so many regulations it almost makes one want to give up. NOT ME, and I hope not any of you. I know there may be a way to do this - it is just a matter of putting our heads together and making it happen !!
Barbara Donovan June 29, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Hang in there Marge - the battle is just beginning and I believe we will win.
Gary Morse June 29, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Marge, There is work going on behind the scene prompted not by the council or planning board, but by residents. The problem I have with a "seniors only" development is that it is linked to just that, more development in a town with limited available land. A seniors only project would be counter productive to those seniors who want to stay in their homes resulting from a list of unintended consequences from more development. The problem we need to fight is a high property tax rate, and also a tax revaluation system that is poorly implemented and can create huge swings in assessments. I am also a senior, but in favor of property tax stabilization, and against more development that has the downside of unintended consequences against those who wish to remain in their homes.
Gary Morse June 29, 2012 at 09:26 AM
Barbara, Your proposal needs more financial analysis to establish how a win win can be achieved. I have done that analysis having been on the Barrington for Equitable Taxes (BET) Steering Committee for two years. The impact to those remaining in their homes is a complex problem. If you want to discuss, I can easily be reached. Sincerely Gary Morse

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