Cortvriend sponsors bill in Speaker Shekarchi’s housing package


STATE HOUSE – Rep. Terri Cortvriend has introduced legislation to help spur housing production in Rhode Island. The bill is part of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi’s 15-bill package of legislation to address Rhode Island’s housing crisis.  

The legislation (2024-H 7982) amends provisions relative to the application of zoning ordinances pertaining to wetland buffers to projects for development, redevelopment, construction or rehabilitation. The legislation makes clear that there can be no local regulation of coastal wetlands and freshwater wetlands beyond the requirements of the state agency requirements. The legislation does not take away any responsibility from the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) or the Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

“As a founding member of the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus and someone who has spent my life in the marine trades, I understand how absolutely vital it is to protect our coasts and our wetlands,” said Representative Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Middletown, Portsmouth). “That’s why I support having strong, uniform, statewide regulations that defend them from irresponsible development. This should not vary from one place to another, both for the sake of protecting our resources and to prevent unnecessary complications that stand in the way of the development of the housing our state desperately needs.”

The legislation is scheduled for a hearing before the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee today.

Representative Cortvriend is also sponsoring a separate bill (2024-H 7844) to reform the CRMC into the Department of Coastal Resources, placing it within the executive branch and establishing accountability, transparency and the highest level of professional responsibility for a vital part of Rhode Island’s public infrastructure.