Rhode Map: Economic development clashes with social equity

A far reaching plan to direct economic development and housing construction in Rhode Island has caught the attention of personal rights activists, and they are calling for a slowdown.

The plan is called Rhode Map RI. Backers of the plan say a comprehensive economic development vision must include an element of social equity.

"We try to level the playing field for people with less education, lower job skills training," said Kevin Flynn, Rhode Island' associate director of planning.

But opponents fear the central planning will result in a loss of rights.

"Things like racial quotas and the amount of affordable housing units per city. So the idea that the federal government will take control over local housing and land use decisions, many of which will infringe on local landowners rights with little debate, that's what's of concern to us," said Mike Stenhouse of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity .

The plan will be presented to the state planning council Nov. 20. If adopted, it would require executive action, and perhaps some legislation, to put it into effect.

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