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Olneyville development and Atwells demolition appeal on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda

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Two notable items are on the June 25, 2014 Zoning Board of Review agenda.

First, the proposed McDonald’s and Family Dollar Store in Olneyville seeks variances from Zoning:

RPS ASSOCIATES, LLC: filed an application requesting a Dimensional Variance and Special Use Permit in order to construct two (2) new commercial buildings: a 4,316 square foot quick-serve restaurant with two (2) drive-thru lanes and an 8,400 square foot retail store, along with any associated site improvements on the property located at 48, 50 & 54 Plainfield Street and 4, 6, 10 & 14 Atwood Street (bounded by Dike St.), also known as Lots 46, 47, 66, 98, 99, 100 & 101 on Tax Assessor’s Plat 105; Lots 46, 66, 99 100 & 101 being located in a General Commercial C-2 Zone and Lots 47 & 98 being located in an Industrial M-1 Zone. The applicant is requesting a Dimensional Variance for relief from Sections 305, 305.1(Footnote 10), 425.2, 425.2(A), 425.2(B), 604.3 and 607.3, which are regulations governing front yard setback, landscaping, and freestanding menu board signs. Further, a Special Use Permit is sought pursuant to Section 303(5.0)-Use Codes 57.1 and 57.2, to construct the proposed new restaurant at over 2,500 gross square feet and to permit operation of two (2) drive-thru lanes in the C-2 Zone. Together, the lots in question contain approximately 64,295 square feet of land area.


Next, the Providence Preservation Society and others are appealing the Historic District Commission’s decision to allow the demolition of the GE plant on Atwells Avenue:

APPEAL FROM THE DECISION OF THE PROVIDENCE HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION

APPELLANTS: Providence Preservation Society; Green Lot, LLC; Monohassett Mill Condominium Association; Clay Rockefeller; Eagle Square Condominium Association, Erik Bright; and Steelyard

PROPERTY OWNER: General Electric Company

SUBJECT PROPERTY: 586 Atwells Avenue, also known as Lots 282, 556, 657, 30 & 634 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 30

The Appellants are appealing the Decision of the Providence Historic District Commission issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness dated May 5, 2014, concerning the proposed demolition of the existing structure(s).

The Zoning Board of Review meets on Wednesday, June 25th at 444 Westminster Street in the First Floor Conference Room. The Olneyville item is on the 6pm agenda, the Atwells item is on the 7pm agenda.
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UPDATED: PPS: General Electric Base Plant Demolition Proposal

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Image from Bing Maps

Update 4pm: The demolition has been approved on a technicality, we’re waiting on PPS to issue a statement and will post it when they do.
This post originally appeared on the Providence Preservation Society’s website. Reposted with permission.
Now I’m being told this afternoon’s meeting is canceled.

A special meeting of the Providence Historic District Commission will be held on Monday, May 5, at 4:15 pm at 444 Westminster to vote on a demolition application for the General Electric Base Plant complex at 586 Atwells Avenue. Built c. 1916, the GE Base Plant stands as a fine expression of post-World War I industrial architecture, and according to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission the plant was once the largest producer of lamp bases in the world – employing 500 people at the Atwells Avenue site.

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→ ProJo: Pedestrian safety on Providence’s Federal Hill takes giant step forward

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In 2013 the state, in cooperation with the city, installed on Atwells 14 sidewalk “bumpouts,” 7 neon green crosswalk signs that are supposed to be more vivid than the standard highway orange, and other signs; upgraded some pedestrian-crossing signals; and restriped to create a 3-foot buffer zone on both sides of the avenue.

Nothing has been done to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Atwells and Dean, which is basically an extention of the Route 6/10 highway off-ramp.

Scheduled this year are the installation of additional traffic signal improvements, including 12 unusual pedestrian crossing signals; the painting of “25 mph,” the speed limit, and “PED XING” on the pavement; and the painting of 11 additional crosswalks.

The pedestrian crossing signal, called a “rectangular rapid flashing beacon,” would be unique in Rhode Island. It is a pedestrian-activated LED array attached to a pedestrian crossing sign that irregularly flashes an amber or white light that Urso said is impossible for a motorist to ignore.

Now if we can just stop people getting stabbed to death and drunks driving up on the sidewalks, it’ll be a nice place.

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Curb extensions being installed on Atwells

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Atwells Avenue at Sutton Street.

It has been nearly three years since City Councilman Terry Hassett was struck and severely injured by a hit and run driver on Atwells Avenue; one in a long line of pedestrian injuries and fatalities on the Avenue. Now, we are finally seeing some action on building pedestrian safety interventions.

After the Councilman was struck, we listed some recommended safety interventions including curb extensions such as those being installed now.

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Atwells Avenue at America Street.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see more of this type of infrastructure installed in the city to promote pedestrian safety.

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Snowblogging III: Whoa!

Internet is down here at Greater City Providence. Lucky for us we still have power and heat. So, I’m posting from my phone, lets see how that goes.

I took an epic amount of photos (and a few videos) and am going to split them up a bit. Here goes day after post number one.

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Whoops! Published that too quick. Wait, I’m adding more!

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Gas leak on Atwells Avenue

Atwells Avenue is closed at Dean Street due to a gas leak. Dean Street appears to still be open to through traffic, but no traffic is being allowed from Dean onto Atwells. Pedestrians are being allowed through, and no evacuations have been ordered.

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Real life Frogger

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This police officer on her phone in her cruiser was no help to me as I was forced to play a real life game of Frogger crossing Atwells and Dean this morning when the traffic lights were out due to the storm.

The officer at Atwells and the Service Road was only slightly more helpful.

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Snowblogging – Last Night

I went out for a walk last night during the storm. Here are some of the photos I took.

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Snowblogging: November 7th Edition (Really?)

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I lived in Portland, Maine in the early 90′s and we had snow that stuck on Halloween, other than that, I’m pretty sure this is the earliest I’ve ever seen accumulating snow. And of course I love snow, so this is great.

These are just a few photos I snapped with my phone as I struggled home in the gale force windstorm this evening.

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And of course, as always, even with a surprisingly early November snowstorm, Angelo’s on Atwells Avenue has a completely snow free sidewalk. I swear I’m going to move back to Maine and gay marry them someday.

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There’s a few snow photos in our Flickr Group, if you have any please share them and we’ll post them on the site later.
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