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2/20/2024 Sen. Raptakis and Rep. Noret’s legislation will continue to advocate for property owners around Johnson’s Pond
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Leonidas P. Raptakis and Rep. Thomas E. Noret have introduced legislation to advocate for the continued use of Johnson’s Pond by residents of Coventry.  Soscia Holdings, LLC, the owner of Johnson’s Pond, is requiring all boats, docks, moorings and other structures used by residents on the pond to be removed prior to the lease ending on March 31.
The legislation (2024-S 2412, 2024-H 7653) would allow property owners whose property on Johnson’s Pond extends past the water line to commence water front work without authorization from the owner of Johnson’s Pond.  The legislation also would permit property owners on ponds in Coventry with a capacity in excess of 1,400 normal storage acre feet of water, to alter, repair, modify, or replace a dock on the pond by seeking approval only from the Department of Environmental Management.
“This legislation will protect property owners around Johnson’s Pond and could protect other property owners in the state, as well.  It’s unfortunate that the situation requires legislative action, but the outrageous moves made by Soscia Holdings to bar the public and property owners from utilizing Johnson’s Pond demanded an equally appropriate response.  I will not stop fighting for the people of Coventry who have used and loved Johnson’s Pond for decades, long before Soscia Holdings came onto the scene and threatened years of tradition and community,” said Senator Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, West Greenwich).
“Johnson’s Pond has been a beloved asset of the people of Coventry for many, many years and the recent uncertainty and controversy over its continued use is unacceptable.  I had hoped it would not come to this, but this bill is absolutely necessary to protect the rights of property owners around Johnson’s Pond who have enjoyed the natural beauty of the pond from their property,” said Representative Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick).

The legislation is also in response to Soscia Holdings, LLC’s demand of the town to remove over 100 docks that are currently built on the pond, most of which were already built before Soscia Holdings acquired the pond.

Senator Raptakis also notes that Soscia Holdings, LLC recently lost a Rhode Island Superior Court decision (C.A. No. KC-2020-0769) in which Soscia Holdings, LLC sued the Town of Coventry over insurance requirements in the pond lease and to halt all recreational use of Johnson’s Pond.  Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Brian Van Couyghen ruled against Soscia Holdings.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903