Categories

Archive | Government

City Plan Commission Meeting – April 28, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from February 24, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from March 17, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Land Development Project – Public Hearing

1. Case No. 14-038MA – 181 Corliss Street (Preliminary Plan Approval) – The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to construct a four story, 124 room extended stay hotel on the former site of an abandoned Postal Service building. The lot measures approximately 2.01 acres. The applicant is seeking a waiver from the requirement that all state permits be acquired by the preliminary plan stage. Public comment will be taken. Continued from the February 24 meeting – for action (AP 74 Lot 376, Mt. Hope)

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3389—Amendment to Port Redevelopment Plan – The amendment proposes to change the boundaries of the redevelopment area by removing two properties. The amendment will be reviewed for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan – for action (Lower South Providence)

Continue Reading →

0

Capital Center Commission Meeting – April 8, 2015

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 • 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of December 10, 2014
    2.2 Acceptance of DRC Meeting Minutes of September 16, 2014, November 18, 2014 and December 2, 2014
  3. Election of Officers
  4. Internal Operating Procedures: Development Fees
  5. Parcel 15: Francis Street parking lot update
  6. Adjournment
2

Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – March 17, 2015

Francis Street Presentation.pdf

featured-capital-center Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 • 8:00am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meetings of November 18, 2014, December 2, 2014 and January 20, 2015
  3. Parcel 15: Francis Street Parcels
    Presentation of revised plans for a temporary parking lot on the site.
  4. Adjournment

Note the ridiculous 8am start time for this meeting, which is actually before this building is officially open.

6

CANCELED: City Plan Commission Meeting – March 17, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
This meeting has been canceled.


Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from February 24, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3388 – Request for easement at 128 Mathewson Street The applicants, Heads Up Inc and the Mathewson Street Church are requesting an easement to provide handicap access for the church at 128 Mathewson Street – for action (AP 25 Lot 349, Downtown)

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

3. Case No. 14-038MA – 181 Corliss Street (Preliminary Plan Approval) The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval to construct a four story, 124 room extended stay hotel on the former site of an abandoned Postal Service building. The lot measures approximately 2.01 acres. Public comment will be taken. Continued from the February 24 meeting – for action (AP 74 Lot 376, Mt. Hope)

Adjournment


0

Providence Planning Department seeks input on community development priorities

From the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development:


You Are Invited to Discuss Your Priorities For Our Communities and Neighborhoods

square-p-01The City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development invites you to a series of conversations about your priorities for housing and community development needs throughout the city.

The Community Development Division will be gathering the input from these meetings and using it to shape future spending and project priorities and to update the City’s Consolidated Plan – which guides the city’s spending on housing and community development.

Some of the topics covered will be: affordable housing; homelessness; senior services; parks and recreation; services for families, adults, and children; accessibility and mobility; persons with HIV/AIDS; lead paint and other unhealthy or unsafe housing issues; economic development; and public safety.

Plan to participate and make your voice hear!

Tues. March 3 – 6:30pm Webster Avenue School 191 Webster Avenue
Wed. March 4 – 6:30pm Fox Point Boys & Girls Club, 90 Ives Street
Tues. March 10 – 6:30pm West Broadway Neighborhood Association, 1560 Westminster Street
Wed. March 18 – 6:30pm SWAP, 500 Broad Street
Tues. March 24 – 6:30pm Washington Park Community Center, 42 Jillson Street
Mon. April 6 – 6:30pm DaVinci Center, 470 Charles Street
Thurs. April 9 – 6:30pm Dr. Martin Luther King School, 35 Camp Street

To RSVP, please contact Donna Miele at dmiele@providenceri.com.

Please complete our Community Needs Survey: http://tinyurl.com/ProvidenceCDBGSurvey

0

ProJo: Raimondo looking at tolls to finance roadwork

illinois-open-road-toll-flickr

Open-road toll installation in Illinois. Photo (cc) Tony Webster.

After more than a year of wrangling over the much-criticized Sakonnet River Bridge toll, Rhode Island lawmakers announced last June that they had created a long-term solution for financing Rhode Island’s roads and bridges that would avert the need for the toll.

Raimondo put the potential for tolls back on the bargaining table in a weekend Associated Press story about the poor condition of many of Rhode Island’s roads and bridges — and the uncertainty about future federal highway funding.

“We need to take a comprehensive look at solutions, everything from public-private partnerships to tolling,” Raimondo said.

See also: Rhode Island’s Future: Raimondo toll plan deserves progressive support
5

ProJo: R.I. DOT chief Michael Lewis resigns; Raimondo appoints former Cranston DPW director Alviti to take his place

micheal-lewis-square1Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis has resigned, and Governor Raimondo has chosen a former Cranston public works director with ties to the Laborers International Union of North America to take his place.

Late Tuesday afternon, Raimondo announced her choice of Peter Alviti as Rhode Island’s new DOT director. If he wins Senate confirmation, he will replace Lewis in the top spot in the state road and bridge building agency.

Raimondo chose Peter Garino as his top deputy. Garino has been “chief, capital programming and administration” for New Jersey Transit.

I don’t know anything about Alviti, but I was hoping the Governor would look for someone forward thinking from out-of-state. Color me unimpressed by having a former DPW director from Cranston running the state transportation agency.

12

I propose 1-3 years in prison for parking on the sidewalk

sidewalk-parking-images

State Senator Raptakis (D-Dist. 33, Coventry, East Greenwich, West Greenwich) has proposed legislation to ban “unlawful interference with traffic.” The Senator says he is introducing this legislation in light “recent demonstrations that have shut down highways in some U.S. communities” that “have the potential to threaten the public welfare.”

Fare enough, there are concerns that recent protests in Boston may have delayed care for a patient travelling in an ambulance to Boston.

Under the Raptakis legislation, a person will be found to have committed the crime of unlawful interference with traffic if he or she “stands, sits, kneels or otherwise loiters on any highway or roadway under such circumstances that the conduct could reasonably be construed as interfering with the lawful movement of traffic” or if that action causes “the interruption, obstruction, distraction or delay of any motorist operating a motor vehicle” on the roadway or highway.

Criminalizing being in the roadway as “reasonably construed” by law-enforcement seems a dangerous precedent to me.

Continue Reading →

23

Capital Center Commission Design Review Committee Meeting – January 20, 2015

Francis Street Presentation.pdf

featured-capital-center Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 • 8:00 am
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meetings of September 16, 2014, November 18, 2014 and December 2, 2014
  3. Acceptance of 2015 CCDRC Meeting Schedule
  4. Parcel 15: Francis Street Parcels
    Presentation of a proposed parking facility on the site.
  5. Adjournment

My understanding is that the State is still insisting they are not beholden to the Capital Center Commission and can do whatever-the-fuck they want (State of Rhode Island to Providence: “Drop dead”) and this meeting is just a courtesy to show the Commission what they are doing.

I also enjoy that the meeting is at 8am on a day after a holiday so no members of the public will be inclined to show up.

This is basically a done deal as far as the State is concerned, the Commission could I suppose rule that this is unacceptable and deny it, but the State says the Commission has no power over them. The Commission, through the City, would have to sue to prove they do have the power. The previous City administration was unwilling to do that.

If one wanted to express one’s displeasure about this, one should probably contact the new State administration. The new Director of the Department of Administration is Michael DiBiase, the phone number there is: (401) 222-2000. Governor Raimondo’s office can be reached through an online contact form or (401) 222-2080. Your comments would be in reference to Capital Center Parcel 15.

6

Mayor Elorza Twitter Town Hall happening now #AskElorza

It is all over now, read through the conversation below.

0

Mayor Elorza’s Inaugural Address

elorza-inauguration

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza Inaugural Address Monday, January 5, 2015 (as prepared for delivery)

Building the New Providence

Friends, family and guests – good afternoon, and welcome to Providence!

I want to begin by thanking some very special people in my life.

I want to recognize my mother and father. All I can say is thank you for everything you have done. You are my heroes and everything I do is to make sure that all your efforts were not in vain. Los quiero mucho y me siento tan orgulloso de ustedes.

Thank you to my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew and niece. I love you so much and thank you for always being by my side.

Thank you, Stephanie, for being with me every step of the way and for inspiring me with your courage and your strength. I love you, baby.

A Proud Heritage

My parents came to this country to work in our factories and to strive for a better life. They chose Providence because this city offered the promise of steady work and it was a tolerant community that would embrace and welcome them. They came to work hard, and they made sacrifice upon sacrifice to build a life of even greater opportunity for my sister and me.

My family’s story is also Providence’s story. From its founding, Providence has been a city that offers the promise of a new beginning. And generations of families just like my mine have come here in search of that same promise, ready to make the same sacrifices.

Exactly four decades after my family arrived in this country in 1975 with little more than the shirts on their backs, we stand proudly as a family on the steps of City Hall as an example of what dedication, sacrifice, humility and industry can help us achieve. Ladies and gentlemen, the American Dream is still alive, and it is our responsibility to see to it that it endures for generations to come.

Most of the factory jobs that once existed slowly yet surely left our city, changing who we are in the We are no longer the industrial city we used to be; but that’s alright. We have to build the New Providence, along with a new economy, a new identity, and a new purpose. I stand before you with great optimism that by coming together and capitalizing on the many wonderful opportunities that our city offers, we will build this New Providence.

Continue Reading →

4

City Plan Commission Meeting – December 16, 2014

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from November18, 2014 meeting – for action
  • Approval of 2015 CPC meeting schedule – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Subdivision – Public Informational Meeting

1. Case No. 14-031 MA – 440-460 Rochambeau Ave – The applicant is requesting to subdivide two lots at 440 and 460 Rochambeau Ave. measuring approximately 33,453 SF and 114,873 SF respectively, into 12 lots. Each proposed lot would measure more than 6,000 SF. The item was continued at the November 16 meeting. – for action (AP 93 Lots 14 and 339, Blackstone)

Continue Reading →

0

CANCELLED City Plan Commission Meeting – October 21, 2014

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor
This meeting has been cancelled

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from September 16, 2014 meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from September 30, 2014 special meeting – for action
  • Vote to elect Administrative Officer for City Plan Commission
  • Director’s Report

Major Subdivision

460-rochambeau

1. Case No. 14-031 MA – 440-460 Rochambeau Ave The applicant is requesting to subdivide two lots at 440 and 460 Rochambeau Ave. measuring approximately 33,453 SF and 114,873 SF respectively, into 12 lots. Each proposed lot would measure more than 6,000 SF – for action (AP 93 Lots 14 and 339, Blackstone)

Minor Subdivision

550-veazie

2. Case No. 14-032 MI – 550 Veazie Street The applicant is requesting to subdivide 550 Veazie Street measuring approximately 6.5 acres into two lots, each measuring approximately 3.9 acres and 3.02 acres– for action (AP 78 Lot 417, Wanskuck)

Adjournment


2

City Plan Commission, Special Meeting – September 30, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September30, 2014 – 12:30pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Director’s Report

Re: Zoning Providence

1. Review of Re: Zoning Providence Review of the recent requests and staff recommended changes proposed to the zoning ordinance – for action

Adjournment


0

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – September 8, 2014

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, September 8, 2014 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

benevolent

Image from Google Street View

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of July 14, 2014

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 14.16: 1 Chestnut Street (Beneficent House) – Public Hearing Proposal by Beneficent House to replace existing exterior signage on site with a new, consistent signage system. The applicant also requests a waiver from D-1 Regulations prohibiting freestanding signs. The proposal includes the installation of two new freestanding signs, one of which is replacing an existing freestanding sign.

Adjournment


0

Capital Center Commission Meeting – September 10, 2014

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 • 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

capital-center-parking

Image from Bing Maps

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Approval of Meeting Minutes of May 14, 2014 and June 11, 2014
  3. Ratification of Approvals
    Ratification of approvals from the June 11, 2014 CCC meeting
  4. Parcels 3E, 3W, 4E and 4W: Parking Lots
    Request for extension of interim parking lot approvals
    Presenter: Todd Turcotte, Capital Properties
  5. Report of the Chairman
    – Waterplace Park
    – Transit Infrastructure Bond Referendum
  6. Adjournment

3

2014 Mayoral Candidate Survey – Jorge Elorza (D)

Jorge Elorza (D)

ElorzaPhotoWebsite: elorzaformayor.com
Phone: 401-400-2430
Email: info@elorzaformayor.com
Facebook: JorgeElorzaforMayor
Twitter: @ElorzaForMayor

Bio

Jorge Elorza is a Providence native, former Housing Court Judge, law professor, accountant, and community activist. He grew up on the West End, the son of Guatemalan immigrants, and graduated Classical High School before going on to URI and Harvard Law. The murder of a childhood friend brought him back to Providence from a promising career on Wall Street, and he has dedicated his life to serving the community ever since. He is running for Mayor to make sure that the opportunities that gave him a pathway out of poverty are passed on to the next generation of Providence kids.

Survey

1. Other Cities
It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to best practices. Across the globe small cities like Providence are doing amazing things to make their cities more livable, increase their tax base, and improve services. What city (or cities) do you look to for inspiration of what you would like Providence to be like or to strive for? What are the characteristics of those cities that you think Providence should emulate?

I look to many cities around the country as models for what Providence can and should do. One of the reasons why I want to be mayor in the first place is because I believe that the innovative leadership and substantive changes happening around the world right now are happening at the municipal level, and mayors are at the forefront of this.

Throughout this campaign, I have often referenced other cities as models for best practices and big ideas. In my plan for full service community schools, I looked to Cincinnati’s community schools model as an example for both engaging community partners, and management through its Local School Decision Making Committees. In that same plan, I also pointed to Chicago’s “Grow Your Own Teachers” Initiative as a model for encouraging diversity in our teaching force. Portland, Oregon was truly the model for my Export Providence Plan, which calls for doubling our export economy in the next five years; the Greater Portland Export Initiative was launched to achieve the same goal for that city, and there is much we can learn from it. I have often called for more police to live in the city, and Atlanta’s Secure Neighborhoods Initiative provides some great ideas for incentivizing officers to do so. My arts and culture platform calls for the creation of a weeklong festival in Providence that is directly inspired by Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest festival and the major impact it has made on that city’s economy. If I have the privilege of being elected, I have pledged to accept applications for my transition committees just as Pittsburgh, PA Mayor Bill Peduto has done. Even here in Rhode Island there are cities that inspire me: for instance, to address school funding, the City of Central Falls hired a part time grant writer for its school department at an annual salary of $30,000. In his first year, he brought in $600,000 in outside funding. I would like to add more grant writing staff across Providence’s many departments to help close funding gaps.


2. Snow Removal
The city has an ordinance that states that the abutting property owner must remove snow from sidewalks. This ordinance has gone under-enforced for years creating a major public safety issue for the city’s residents every time it snows. The city and the state are notable offenders in not clearing snow from sidewalks abutting their property (sidewalks abutting parks, public buildings, on overpasses, etc.). How will you hold private property owners, the state, and the City itself accountable for removing snow in a timely fashion, and how will you ensure that snow removal ordinances are enforced?

For private property owners, I will copy the successful example of other cities that maintain a “carrot and stick” approach to enforcing our snow removal ordinance. Exemplary businesses will be rewarded with certificates and neighborhood appreciation events. Businesses that frequently fail to comply with the law will be fined. And, as Mayor, I will ask the General Assembly to enact enabling legislation allowing the City to clear snow on pedestrian sidewalks and lien non- compliant property owners.

At the City level, I believe that many of the enforcement problems are due to the fact that the Department of Public Works has not had a permanent director for over two years. As Mayor, I would commit to hiring a permanent director in my first 90 days.

In general, we need to leverage better tracking and reporting technologies to identify problems, then empower the new Director of Public Works to track response times and manage workflow accordingly.


3. Street Parking Permits and Snow
The City recently ended its longtime ban on overnight parking introducing a permit system for City residents to park on the street overnight. Allowing residents to park on the street relieves the need to provide off-street parking in paved lots and yards. Reducing this paved area has numerous environmental and quality of life benefits. Unfortunately the City bans parking during heavy snow with no options for people parking on the street, forcing the need for off-street spaces during these storms. Other cities, including Boston, allow street parking during storms, banning parking only on designated emergency snow routes. Would you support allowing people with permits to park on designated streets during snow storms?

I am supportive of the idea. I would need to talk more with Public Works, and public safety agencies like the Police and Fire Departments, before committing to making this happen. I would want to know more about the potential problems that might arise and how this would impact efforts to clear snow. If this can be done in a manageable way, I will support it.


Continue Reading →

4

2014 Mayoral Candidate Survey – Chris Young (D)

Chris Young (D)

youngPhone: 401-477-6178
Facebook: Chris Young

Survey

1. Other Cities
It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to best practices. Across the globe small cities like Providence are doing amazing things to make their cities more livable, increase their tax base, and improve services. What city (or cities) do you look to for inspiration of what you would like Providence to be like or to strive for? What are the characteristics of those cities that you think Providence should emulate?

I have the highest aspirations for Providence and this is one of the core reasons I can keep running for public office. I have run now 4 times for Mayor of Providence receiving 26% of the vote in 2006. Our campaign has incorporated ideas for economic development from cities all over the world. I as a candidate believe in taking the best of other cities successes and using them for the benefit of Providence residents. Life is both the physical and spiritual, for what would life mean without both of these? We must not forget God has a role in our success for with God all things are possible.

The first thing we can do for economic development In Providence is we can offer tax incentives like repealing the car tax and also offering businesses, the Universities, hospitals and non-profits the ability to participate in a zero tax program, much like New York state is offering. New York state is offering a zero tax for businesses willing to locate in certain areas when they do co-ventures with the Universities.

The city of Providence will develop and adopt a comprehensive, long-term (at least ten years) fiscal program and vision for the city’s future so that its current and prospective residents, businesses, and institutions will have the confidence to invest in and grow within the city. This program must take into account expenses, revenues, capital and infrastructure needs, the benefits of regionalization and privatization, and future growth. The plan will also establish a strategy for bringing real estate and other taxes in line with comparable regional cities. A residential and commercial property tax reduction will occur. Hospitals and Universities that offer job and business development opportunities for companies who are willing to locate to Providence and bring with them 500 new jobs would get tax abatement opportunities.


2. Snow Removal
The city has an ordinance that states that the abutting property owner must remove snow from sidewalks. This ordinance has gone under-enforced for years creating a major public safety issue for the city’s residents every time it snows. The city and the state are notable offenders in not clearing snow from sidewalks abutting their property (sidewalks abutting parks, public buildings, on overpasses, etc.). How will you hold private property owners, the state, and the City itself accountable for removing snow in a timely fashion, and how will you ensure that snow removal ordinances are enforced?

The state can be fined and cleanup costs can be issued for intentional neglect and the state’s sovereign immunity would not protect the state on intentional neglect.

The city will plow streets and sidewalks in the future much like what is done in New York state. A fee will be assessed on private or public property that has received 3 or more warnings in one season. The fee will act as a lien after three years of non payment but will be waived for good cause. We will have citywide sidewalk plowing after the city is solvent.

The City of Rochester provides supplemental service to help property owners clear their sidewalks during a substantial winter storm and we can adopt some of it’s practices. Rochester is one of the few cities in the United States to provide this service to its residents and it is outlined as follows from Rochester city government.

Sidewalk Snow Plowing Facts

  • The City begins plowing sidewalks once new snowfall exceeds 3″.
  • The City plows all sidewalks that are at least five feet in width.
  • Each sidewalk plow run takes about five hours to complete.
  • The City plows 878 miles of sidewalks. These miles are divided into distinct sidewalk plow runs of approximately 15 miles.
  • Depending on the severity of a storm, sidewalk snow plowing policies must sometimes be altered meet the needs of the situation.
  • The City uses private contractors to plow sidewalks.
  • Sidewalk plowing usually happens in the evening and early morning when pedestrian traffic is lowest, but this schedule is modified to respond to actual storm conditions.

Fees

  • Sidewalk snow plowing is financed by an embellishment fee on your property tax bill that is based on the front footage of a property.
  • Embellishment fees, charges for specific services, are included on the annual property tax bill. The fees are based on a property’s front footage. To figure out an embellishment charge, the embellishment rate is multiplied by the property’s front footage. For corner properties, the front footage comprises 1/3 of the longer side’s footage plus the full footage of the lot’s shorter side.

3. Street Parking Permits and Snow
The City recently ended its longtime ban on overnight parking introducing a permit system for City residents to park on the street overnight. Allowing residents to park on the street relieves the need to provide off-street parking in paved lots and yards. Reducing this paved area has numerous environmental and quality of life benefits. Unfortunately the City bans parking during heavy snow with no options for people parking on the street, forcing the need for off-street spaces during these storms. Other cities, including Boston, allow street parking during storms, banning parking only on designated emergency snow routes. Would you support allowing people with permits to park on designated streets during snow storms?

Yes, our campaign would adopt the Boston parking policy during snow storms and we support allowing people with permits to park on designated streets during snow storms. I lived in Boston during my college years at Boston University and found the parking program easy and effective.


Continue Reading →

1