Greater City Providence

Parking cat fight Downcity?

35 Weybosset Street

In reading this month’s Zoning Board of Review agenda , I came across this:

APPELLANT: GP Arcade Garage, LLC
PROPERTY OWNER: 110 Providence Owner, LLC
SUBJECT PROPERTY: Vacant land located at 90 Westminster Street, a/k/a Lot 123 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 20
ZONING DISTRICTS: D-1 Downtown Central Business District and DD Downcity Overlay District (A Street) The Appellant is appealing the Director’s decision to issue a building permit (No. B2011-3886, dated November 29, 2011) contending that the proposed construction of a surface parking lot is in violation of Sections 502 and 502.2(F)(3) of the Zoning Ordinance

So that would be the owners for the Arcade Garage on Weybosset Street arguing that the owners of the lot at 35 Weybosset Street/110 (90) Westminster Street, should not be allowed to have a surface parking lot at that location because it goes against the Zoning Ordinance.

Here’s the sections cited[1]:

Section 502 – Downcity District
The purpose of the Downcity District is to encourage and direct development in the downtown to ensure that: new development is compatible with the existing historic building fabric and the historic character of downtown; historic structures are preserved, and design alterations are in keeping with historic character; development encourages day and nighttime activities that relate to the pedestrian and promote the arts, entertainment and housing; and that the goals of the Comprehensive Plan are achieved. The design of the exterior of all buildings, open spaces and all exterior physical improvements in the Downcity District shall be regulated and approved through development plan review in accordance with the provisions of this section.


502.2. – Downcity District – General regulations.

(F) Parking. Parking in the district shall conform to the requirements of Article VII, Parking and Loading of this ordinance. However, parking is not required for newly constructed buildings on an individual lot with a gross floor area of less than five thousand (5,000) square feet.

(3) No surface parking, whether principal-use parking or accessory-use parking, shall be permitted in the Downcity District, unless, except for access and egress, the parking area is entirely screened from view from an A-Street by a building that conforms to the regulations of section 502. The building and parking shall be approved by the DRC.

Someone’s maybe not keen on competition?

I don’t think there’s anything to get excited about here for people who hate parking lots. Even if GP Arcade Garage, LLC were to win and have the parking lot revoked, I doubt the lot would be unpaved, it would just be empty. And surely 110 Providence Owner, LLC would go to higher powers to try to get a favorable ruling.

[1] It is hard to direct link from the Muni Code site, Zoning is Chapter 27.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


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