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ProJo: Reviving Olneyville: Providence plan seeks overhaul of public housing

atlantic-furniture

A strategy is being developed to give the low-income [Manton Heights housing] development an overhaul and link it to the rest of Olneyville — one of Providence’s poorest neighborhoods, but a community improving with a helping hand from residents, the city, business owners and nonprofit groups.

Called Build Olneyville, the ambitious plan calls for replacing the development’s buildings with contemporary housing and reconfiguring the layout so there are through streets and mixed-income families living side by side. They also want to double Manton Heights, create jobs and add community amenities for the whole neighborhood, including a new early learning center.

The goal is to inject Olneyville with $100 million — up to $30 million from a federal grant and the rest in public-private partnerships.

See also:

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City Plan Commission Meeting – February 25, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the January 21st meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from the January 28th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Re: Zoning Providence

1. Update on Re: Zoning Providence Presentation detailing progress on the zoning ordinance revision process and proposed zoning changes developed by the project consultants – for discussion

Minor Land Development Project

2. Case No. 12-027MI – 66 Huber Avenue The project consists of a 40-unit apartment building. This matter was remanded from the Zoning Board of Review, sitting as an appeals board, for more specific findings of fact relating to conformance with the zoning ordinance – for action (AP 80 Lot 894, Manton)

City Council Referral

3. Referral 3373 – Petition to rezone 1710-1718 Westminster Street The applicant is requesting a rezoning of 1710-1718 Westminster Street (AP 35 Lots 219 and 220) from R-3 to M-1 – for action (AP 35 Lots 219 and 220, West End)

Adjournment


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2014 State of the City Address

Mayor Angel Taveras delivered his final State of the City Address last night at City Hall:


angel-twitter

Image from Angel Taveras Twitter feed


Working and Investing in Providence

Mayor Angel Taveras – 2014 State of the City Address
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

(as prepared for delivery)

Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and fellow residents of our great Capital City –

In April, I had the pleasure to be present for the Omni Group’s purchase of the C.J. Fox factory. Anyone who drives on Route 95 South through our city knows the Omni Group has been hard at work renovating the complex at the entrance to historic Federal Hill.

The Omni Group is a homegrown company, headquartered in Providence. Like most businesses, they went through some tough times beginning in 2008. Financing their project became a major challenge when Wall Street imploded and the economy went into a tailspin.

But the Omni Group made it through the hard times, and now they are moving forward and investing $5 million to convert the old factory complex into office space. Bill DiStefano, Omni’s President and CEO, told me they decided to expand their business again because they believe Providence is heading in the right direction.

I tell you this story because it speaks to the overall state of our city. The state of our city is improving.

We’ve been through the hard times of the Great Recession. But we never lost hope. And we never stopped believing that better days were ahead. We are working hard and making investments that will propel Providence into a future of greater economic strength and prosperity.

I want to talk to you tonight about all we’ve done to move Providence forward in the past year. And then I want to talk to you about what we will do in the coming months.

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CANCELED – Capital Center Commission Meeting – February 12, 2013

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, February 12, 2013 • 12:00 noon
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903
This meeting has been canceled.


AGENDA

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Approval of Meeting Minutes of December 19, 2013
  3. Election of Officers
    Elect Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer
  4. Design Review Committee Advisory Member Appointment
    Appoint Melvin Bilezerian to the Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission (term to expire 6/18)
  5. Amend Capital Center Commission By-Laws
    Amend Section 6: Quorum
  6. State House Parking Lot Lighting
  7. New Business
  8. Adjournment

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City Plan Commission Meeting – January 28, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the December 17th meeting – for action
  • Election of officers for the 2014 calendar year – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. City Council Referral: Petition to amend the Providence Zoning Ordinance The petitioner is requesting that Article 3 and appendix A of the zoning ordinance – pertaining to certain dimensional and use regulations in W-3 and M-2 zones – be amended – for action

Major Land Development Project

2. Case No. 13-039MA – 48-54 Plainfield Street and 4-14 The applicant is seeking master plan approval to construct a free standing fast food restaurant with a drive through and a free standing retail department store on a vacant commercial lot. The applicant is seeking dimensional relief for front yard setbacks and a special use permit for a drive through use. A total of 56 parking spaces are proposed for the development, which measures approximately 64,295 SF – for action (AP 105 Lots
46, 47, 66, 98, 99, 100, Olneyville)

Re: Zoning Providence

3. Update on Re: Zoning Providence Presentation detailing progress on the zoning ordinance revision process and proposed zoning changes developed by the project consultants – for discussion

Adjournment


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CPC to review proposed drive-thru in Olneyville at January 21 28, 2014 meeting

olneyville

This building in Olneyville was razed last year. Image from Google Streetview

The City Plan Commission meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to the impending storm. It is rescheduled for January 28th.

The block of buildings on Plainfield between Dike and Atwood Streets was razed last January. An anonymous commenter from that post wins the prize as my understanding is a McDonald’s with a drive-thru along with a dollar store is now planned for this location.

As Olneyville attempts to reviatalize itself a fast food restaurant, seperated from the street by parking, with a drive-thru is exactly what the neighborhood does not need. This parcel interrupts what is almost a complete streetwall along the south side of Plainfield Street and through the Square from the Route 6 overpass to the unfortunately placed car wash at the Westminster and Broadway intersection.

Olneyville has the lowest rate of vehicle ownership in the City, who is this drive-thru being built for? McDonald’s, if they want to be in Olneyville, should consider maybe building a walk-up window rather than a drive-thru one.

The developer will be seeking relief for building setback and a special use permit for a drive-thru from the CPC at their meeting on January 21st. See the full CPC agenda below.

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – December 19, 2013

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:00pm
Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

providence-station

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Approval of Special Meeting Minutes of October 17, 2013 and Regular Meeting Minutes of November 13, 2013
  3. Acceptance of 2014 CCC Meeting Schedule
  4. Providence Station Plaza
    Presentation of the 90% design project plans for the plaza and the area surrounding the train station
  5. Adjournment

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – December 9, 2013

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, December 9, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 9, 2013 and October 7, 2013
  • Acceptance of 2014 DDRC Meeting Schedule

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 13.27: 75 Weybosset Street (Atlantic Bank Building) The applicant seeks approval for the installation of a painted wall sign for ‘Noon Design Shop’ on the west elevation of the building. (Violation Response)

2. DRC Application No. 13.31: 326 Westminster Street (Kinsley Building) – Public Hearing Proposal by Cornish Associates to restore the building, which includes exterior alterations and the installation of new storefronts. The building is being converted to residential/mixed?use. The applicant is also requesting a Development Incentive, specifically a Density Bonus, for an additional residential unit.

Adjournment


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Providence Launches ‘Open Meetings Portal’

The City of Providence [on Wednesday] launched its Open Meetings Portal – a single, public access point for public meeting information.

The site fulfills a recommendation of a special commission established to find ways the City can use technology to engage residents, and is the result of several months of collaboration between the City Clerk, City Council, and the administration of Mayor Angel Taveras.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – November 19, 2013

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from October 15th
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivision

43-benefit

43 Benefit Street – Image from Google Street View

1. Case No. 13-035MI – 43 Benefit Street meeting – for action The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 19,040 SF into three lots measuring approximately 6,135 SF, 6,071 SF and 6,833 SF – for action (AP 9 Lot 174, College Hill)

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3368 – An ordinance in amendment of Section 303 of the Zoning Ordinance A petition to amend Section 303 of the Zoning Ordinance to permit group quarters/halfway houses in M-1 zones with a special use permit – for action

3. Referral 3370 – Petition to amend the future land use map of the comprehensive plan The petitioner is requesting that the future land use map of Providence Tomorrow: The Comprehensive Plan be amended to change the land use designation of an area bounded by Prairie Avenue, Chester Street and Blackstone Street from medium density residential to general commercial/mixed use – for action

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State defiantly moves ahead with surface parking

state-house-parking

In spite of Providence Zoning rules and Capital Center rules forbidding it, the State is moving ahead with plans to expand a surface parking lot on the State House grounds and building a new surface parking lot adjacent to the State House.

ecoRI reports that the Department of Administration (DOA) has already started work on expanding the Assembly Members parking lot on the State House grounds. “Work on the two tiers of new parking to the east of the Statehouse, along Smith Street, will replace 2,000 square feet of grass with some 40 parking spaces.”

Meanwhile, as we discussed in July, the DOA has spent $3.1 million purchasing property along Francis Street next to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium for even more surface parking.

The Chairman of the Capital Center Commission, Deming Sherman is none to happy about all this. Sherman told The Providence Journal that there should be less parking around the State House, not more and that a parking garage should be built behind the DOA building.

When the State restarted the project to expand the parking lot on the State House lawn in June of this year, Sherman contended that the plan had to be submitted to the Capital Center Commission for review, the DOA claims that their authority supercedes the Capital Center Commission (which was created by the State) as well as City zoning.

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – October 17, 2013

featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Thursday, October 17, 2013 – 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 Special Meeting Minutes of August 28, 2013
  3. Parking Lot Discussion Discussion regarding parking issues near the State House
  4. Designation of Auditor
  5. FY 2014 Budget
  6. Adjournment


See also: State to pay $3.1 million to buy land for prohibited parking

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – October 7, 2013

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, October 7, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of September 9, 2013

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 13.13: 270 Weybosset Street (Richmond Building) Proposal by Johnson & Wales University to alter an existing window to a door and to construct a new accessible ramp and on the west elevation (alley side) of the building.

2. DRC Application No. 13.14: 198 Union Street* (Fletcher Building) Proposal by Rhode Island School of Design to renovate a portion of the first floor and to install a new storefront system on the Union Street elevation of the building.

Adjournment


*The former location of the Providence Eagle.

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PBN: City again tackles rezoning

Providence will try again this year to drag its zoning code into the 21st century.

Like many other communities across the country, Rhode Island’s capital hopes to remove barriers to urban growth within its 1950s-era, land-use regulations and this month begins a citywide public process to rewrite them.

The last time Providence tried a comprehensive zoning rewrite, in the midst of a building boom in 2005, the effort met community resistance and was drastically scaled back.

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Reports: Apponaug wins TIGER grant, streetcar seemingly, no.




Previously: 10 reasons why the Apponaug Circulator is ‘not ready to go’

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Re:Zoning Providence Public Meeting – September 10, 2013

rezone-pvd-banner

We want to hear from you! Come be a part of a comprehensive overhaul of the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance, and help us reshape the future of development in Providence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
5:30 – 7:30pm
Joseph A. Doorley Building, 444 Westminster Street
First Floor Cafeteria

Re:Zoning Providence will help us better preserve, strengthen, and protect the historic pattern of development that is central to the character of our City, as well as to revitalize and further develop the areas of our City that can accommodate additional economic growth.

PUBLIC MEETING AGENDA:

  • Introduction to the project by the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development
  • Presentation by planning & zoning consultants that outlines a technical review of the current ordinance and potential approaches to the rezoning
  • Questions & Answers

For more information, please visit the project website at rezoningprovidence.com, or contact: Martina Haggerty, Project Manager for the City of Providence, at mhaggerty@providenceri.com, or 401.680.8528

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – August 5, 2013

Notice of Regular Meeting • Monday, August 5, 2013 – 4:45pm
Department of Planning and Development, 1st Floor Conference Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes of June 10, 2013 and July 8, 2013

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 13.15: 274 Weybosset Street – Del Sesto Building (formerly Summerfield Building) Proposal by Johnson and Wales University to construct a new stair tower addition at the rear of the building (south elevation).

2. DRC Application No. 13.16: 111 Mathewson Street (1930’s addition to Arnold Building*) Proposal by Bookworm Assoc. LLC to modify an existing storefront window, and to create a new wall opening for the installation of a new storefront system on the front elevation of the building.

Adjournment


*Confusingly, this is the Arnold Building which houses Cellar Stories Books (which confusingly is not in a cellar, but on the second floor), not the Narrow Building across the street which is also called the “Arnold Building.”

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