Author Archive | gcpvd

Providence Preservation Society 2016 Symposium: Why Preserve? – November 3-4, 2016


From the Providence Preservation Society:

PPS Announces 2016 Providence Symposium: Why Preserve?

Industrial Trust Building is setting for national conversation on why preservation matters to communities

The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) announces the 2016 Providence Symposium, Why Preserve?, November 3-4, 2016 at the Industrial Trust Building, 111 Westminster Street.

The annual Providence Symposium engages experts from across the nation as well as local stakeholders on topics critical to the future of Providence. In 1956, PPS inaugurated what became a national model for historic preservation. Sixty years later, PPS asks its founding question of a new generation: Why Preserve? The 2016 Symposium will launch a year of community-based conversations around these foundational preservation questions: Why do we preserve? What do we preserve? Who decides what we preserve – that is, who are “we”? What are the costs of preservation? Who bears them?

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2016 Rhode Island statewide ballot questions


Below is information on the 7 statewide ballot questions which will be appearing on the November 8th ballot. All information from the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office.

Download the full Voter Information Handbook from the Secretary of State’s office


Approval of an act authorizing state-operated casino gaming at “Twin River-Tiverton” in the Town of Tiverton
Section 22 of Article VI of the Constitution

Shall an act be approved which would authorize a facility owned by Twin River-Tiverton, LLC, located in the Town of Tiverton at the intersection of William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road, to be licensed as a pari-mutuel
facility and offer state-operated video-lottery games and state-operated casino gaming, such as table games?


Your vote to “Approve” this question means you want to allow a new state-operated casino, including video-lottery games and table games, to be built in Tiverton, at the intersection of William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road.


Your vote to “Reject” this question means you do not want to allow a new state-operated casino, including video-lottery games and table games, to be built in Tiverton, at the intersection of William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road.

Explanation and purpose of Question 1:

This question is asking voters to allow a new state-operated casino to be built in Tiverton at the intersection of William S. Canning Boulevard and Stafford Road. Approval will require that voters in Tiverton and throughout the State of Rhode Island vote in favor of building the casino. The casino would be owned by Twin River-Tiverton and would be licensed and regulated by the State.

The Twin River-Tiverton Casino would include video-lottery games and table games and replace what is currently Newport Grand.

This question is before the voters because the Rhode Island Constitution requires that voters approve any expansion of gambling. More specifically, Article VI, Section 22 of the Rhode Island Constitution provides that “no act expanding the types of gambling permitted within any city or town in the State of Rhode Island shall take effect until it has been approved by a majority of those electors voting in a statewide referendum and by the majority of those electors voting in a referendum in the municipality in which the proposed gambling would be allowed.”

How much money will be borrowed?

The referendum would not authorize any borrowing


Restoration of ethics commission jurisdiction over General Assembly members
Section 8 of Article III and Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution

Section 8 of Article III of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows:

Section 8. Ethics commission – Code of ethics. – The general assembly shall establish an independent non-partisan ethics commission which shall adopt a code of ethics including, but not limited to, provisions on conflicts of interest, confidential information, use of position, contracts with government agencies and financial disclosure. The assent of two-thirds (2/3) of the members appointed shall be required for the adoption for every rule or regulation. All elected and appointed officials and employees of state and local government, of boards, commissions and agencies shall be subject to the code of ethics. The ethics commission shall have the authority to investigate alleged violations of the code of ethics, including acts otherwise protected by Article VI, Section 5, and to impose penalties, as provided by law;. and the Any sanction issued against any party by the ethics commission shall be appealable to the judicial branch as provided by law. The commission shall have the power to remove from office officials who are not otherwise subject to impeachment, or expulsion as provided by Article VI, Section 7.

Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows:

Section 5. Immunities of general assembly members. – The persons of all members of the general assembly shall be exempt from arrest and their estates from attachment in any civil action, during the session of the general assembly, and two days before the commencement and two days after the termination thereof, and all process served contrary hereto shall be void. For any speech in debate in either house, no member shall be questioned in any other place, except by the ethics commission as set forth in Article III, Section 8.

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ProJo: Construction starts on pedestrian bridge in Providence


Rendering of the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge

Public officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the start of construction of the long-planned pedestrian bridge to connect former Route 195 parcels on either side of the Providence River. The bridge is expected to connect two future city parks to be built on former Route 195 land, connecting the city’s College Hill and Fox Point neighborhoods with downtown.


News & Notes


Residential parking. Photo (cc) Laura Bittner

The New York Times: Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great

“Inner city,” in short, is imprecise in describing today’s urban reality. It captures neither the true geography of poverty or black America, nor the quality of life in many communities in central cities. But politically, its 1970s-era meaning lingers.

The Boston Globe: ‘Inner cities’ are a solution, not a problem

The current GOP presidential nominee talks about urban America in similarly apocalyptic terms. “Inner-city crime is reaching record levels,” he’s insisted, even though rates of violence in most cities have plunged over a generation. “You walk down the street, you get shot,” he said in Monday’s debate.

It’s not just Trump. The stereotype of “inner cities” as hopeless pits of chaos and despair still resonates with lots of anxious exurbanites who seldom venture downtown. It’s code language that pulls public policy in the wrong direction. It also draws attention away from the role that cities could play in making the entire economy stronger.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – October 18, 2016


Rendering of Holiday Inn Express proposed for Pine Street.

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the September 20, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivision

1. Case No. 16-042 MI – 25 Balton Road – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot in the R-1A zone measuring 40,750 SF into five lots. Two of the lots will measure approximately 8,750 SF. The other lots will approximately measure 7,727 SF, 8,024 SF and 7,500 SF – for action (AP 93 Lot 347, Blackstone)

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

2. Case No. 16-043MA – 148 West River Street – The applicant is requesting a major change/amendment to an approved plan. The CPC approved a two (2) story 12,000 SF addition and atrium to a medical office building in September 2016, which the applicant is proposing to alter to a three (3) story 17,000 SF atrium and addition. The property is zoned M-1 – for action (AP 100 Lots 15 and 49, Mt. Hope)

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RI Future: Spencer Grassie- Let’s reconnect Olneyville to the city’s urban fabric


As a current Providence College Friar and a native Rhode Islander, I am passionate about our state and capital city. As a millennial, I want to ensure that future generations have the building blocks necessary to thrive and make a living right here in the Ocean State. That is why the ProJo Editorial board’s piece, “Smart decision on bridges” is short sighted. The idea of turning the decrepit 6/10 Connector into a surface boulevard is about much more than safety.


City of Providence 6-10 Connector Draft Plan Release – October 3, 2016


From the Department of Planning & Development Facebook page:

Please join us on Monday, October 3 at 6:00pm at 444 Westminster Street to review our draft plan for a better 6-10 Connector. The 6-10 Connector is an aging highway that cuts through several Providence neighborhoods and is slated for immediate replacement. Similar to the I-195 relocation, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest wisely, reconnect neighborhoods, and improve our city.

Over 250 community members attended a City-led public workshop on August 30th.

At the workshop, community members were asked to help identify goals for the project and to begin brainstorming about ideas to improve the area surrounding the 6-10 Connector. Click here to view photos of the ideas that community members presented at the event. Click here to view the presentation that was given by City staff at the meeting.

More information on Facebook


City Plan Commission Meeting – September 20, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission, Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, September 20 2016 at 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the August 16, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3407 – Rezoning of 10 Swift Street – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 10 Swift Street from R-2 to C-3. Continued from the August 16, 2016 meeting – for action (AP 77 Lot 301, Charles)

2. Referral 3408 – Rezoning of 349 Killingly Street and 42-50 Milo Street – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 349 Killingly Street, 42 and 50 Milo Street from R-1 to C-3 to accommodate a retail business – for action (AP 115 Lots 593, 594 and 595, Hartford)

3. Proposed Expansion of College Hill Historic District – The Providence Preservation Society will make a presentation on the historic character of the area proposed for inclusion within the College Hill Historic District. The proposed expansion roughly includes an area bounded by Power, Hope, Governor and Angell Streets. The CPC will vote on the eligibility of the area to be considered for inclusion within the historic district – for action

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Fix the 6-10: City Forum Highlights Need for New Ideas to Fix the 6-10


Press release from Fix the 6-10:

Last night, August 30, over 100 residents, community leaders, business owners, and transportation and planning experts gathered for a public forum at Asa Messer Elementary School on the West Side to discuss the future of the Rt. 6-10 Connector.

Workshop participants gave voice to the many values other than just moving cars that are important to Rhode Islanders: fiscal sustainability; improved safety for people driving, walking, biking, or taking the bus; creating new opportunities for economic development and low-income communities that live near the highway; open space and beauty and innovation and climate change.

Many participants suggested replacing the highway with a connected network of boulevards and streets more like Memorial Boulevard in Providence or Blackstone Boulevard, or the Parkways in Boston’s Emerald Necklace; which would greatly reduce long-term maintenance costs and improve connections between neighborhoods.

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ProJo: Plans for six story apartment building by Providence train station move forward

Rendering of ‘The Commons at Providence Station’ as it was proposed in 2014

Plans are proceeding for a multi-story apartment building by Canal Street downtown that would be built on land by Providence Station and across from the Roger Williams National Memorial, according to documents filed with the city’s planning department.

The developer, Capital Cove Development LLC, has applied to the Building Board of Review Review for a variance to allow construction. The application describes the planned structure as six stories high, with the first two floors used as parking, with 169 spaces.


New Coalition Advocating for Cost-Effective Rte. 6-10 Redesign


6/10 interchange in the late 1950s. Image from RIDOT.

Press Release from Fix the 6-10

Fix the 6-10 believes that it is urgent for Rhode Island to replace the 1950’s-style 6-10 Connector with infrastructure more appropriate for a 21st-century city, balancing the needs of people driving with creating economic opportunities, connecting neighborhoods, and improving our state’s fiscal health.

In response to recent efforts by the City and State to repair the failing 6-10 Connector, a new grassroots coalition, Fix the 6-10, has formed to advocate for a cost-effective, sustainable, equitable, and innovative replacement.

The Route 6-10 Connector is broken. Every day, thousands of people drive over structurally deficient bridges held up by wooden braces. Congestion plagues the off-ramps. It separates neighbors and blocks economic opportunity. It’s time to Fix the 6-10.

Recent estimates by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) have placed the cost of an expensive, heavily engineered hybrid tunnel-highway at nearly $595 million dollars, not counting a bus rapid transit line with stations, making it one of the most expensive highway interchanges in the world.

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6/10 Connector Public Workshop – August 30, 2016


From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:

My vision for the 6-10 Connector is…

Please join us on Tuesday, August 30th for a Public Workshop to discuss your ideas for the 6-10 Connector.

The City of Providence is launching a public process to bring community members and decision-makers together to craft a design proposal for the 6-10 Connector, a portion of state highway that runs through numerous Providence neighborhoods including Olneyville, West End, Federal Hill, Silver Lake, Hartford, Valley, and Smith Hill.

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What if humans evolved to survive car crashes?

Humans are smart, but we’re also squishy, vulnerable, and prone to putting ourselves in heavy, explosion-powered machines that roll along the ground in excess of 70 miles per hour. In 2014, there were 32,674 car accident-related fatalities in the US alone. So what would happen if humans evolved specifically to survive an auto crash?


I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – August 15, 2016

A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2016, beginning at 3:00 P.M., for the following purposes:

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Joseph Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on June 20, 2016.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Report on status of District’s financial audit by Lisa Lasky, RI Commerce Corporation Chief Financial Officer.
  5. Discussion and Vote regarding proposed allocation of funds to pedestrian bridge construction budget.
  6. Presentation and discussion regarding District land use planning.
  7. II. Executive Session

    To consider and act upon such matters as may be considered at a meeting closed to the public pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws, Section 42-46-5(a) (the Open Meetings Law), specifically matters permitted to be so considered under (i) subsection (5) (disposition of public property).

  8. Review of Status of Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property.
  9. III. Public Session

  10. Chairperson’s Report/Agenda for next meeting on September 19, 2016 at 5:00 P.M.
  11. Vote to Adjourn.

ProJo: Pedestrian bridge moving forward in Providence


The fate of a long-delayed pedestrian bridge across the Providence River is back on track, after a flurry in recent weeks of negotiations, meetings and budget deliberations.

The Department of Transportation expects to award a bid in October so the bridge can be completed by November 2018, spokeswoman Lisbeth Pettengill told The Providence Journal.

The DOT and the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission are pledging to spend about $6 million more than the DOT’s earlier estimate to build the bridge.