Archive | Government

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.


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 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


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


  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


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.


*The former location of the Providence Eagle.


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.


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

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


Re:Zoning Providence Public Meeting – September 10, 2013


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.


  • 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, or contact: Martina Haggerty, Project Manager for the City of Providence, at, or 401.680.8528


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.


*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.”