Tag Archives | Government

ProJo: Raimondo pushes out managers, dismisses employees at ‘dysfunctional’ DOT


Image from RIDOT

Having diagnosed Rhode Island’s transportation bureaucracy as “dysfunctional,” Governor Raimondo Wednesday outlined the steps she’s taking to fix it — with or without revenue from proposed truck tolls.

In an overhaul of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation that started earlier this year, Raimondo said she has pushed out several managers, adopted private-sector planning processes and begun hiring workers to reduce the agency’s reliance on outside contractors.

RIDOT has also either dismissed or accepted the resignation of “four or five” unidentified employees for “dishonesty,” including false record keeping and not being where they said they were, according to Director Peter Alviti.

I don’t have anything nice to say about RIDOT so I won’t say anything at all.


CANCELED Capital Center Commission Meeting – July 23, 2015

This meeting has been canceled.
featured-capital-center Capital Center Commission Meeting
Tursday, July 23, 2015 • 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 Meeting Minutes of April 8, 2015
    2.2 Acceptance of DRC Meeting Minutes of January 20, March 17, and April 21, 2015
  3. Election of CCC Vice Chair
  4. Election of DRC Vice Chair
  5. Parcel 14: Veterans Memorial Auditorium
    Request for approval to install 2-sided marquee sign and electronic message board.
  6. Parcel 9: GTECH Building
    Request for approval to replace existing GTECH signage with new IGT signage.
  7. Francis Street & Memorial Boulevard Intersection Safety Improvements
    Request for approval of proposed safety improvements.
  8. FY2016 Budget
  9. Designation of Service Provider
    9.1 Legal Services
  10. Adjournment

City Plan Commission Meeting – May 19, 2015

CPC City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from April 28, 2015 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivions

1. Case No. 15-016MI – 114 Chace Ave (Preliminary Plan) – Subdivision of a lot measuring approximately 10,300 SF in the R-1 zone, into two lots measuring approximately 5,083 SF and 5,111 SF each – for action (AP 91 Lot 42, Hope)

2. Case No. 15-017MI – 67 Touro Street (Preliminary Plan) – Subdivision of a lot measuring approximately 7,300 SF in the R-3 zone into two lots measuring approximately 3,648 and 3,700 SF. The applicant will require zoning relief from the minimum lot size requirement of 5,000 SF – for action (AP 71 Lot 577, Charles)

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. Continued from the April 28 meeting – for action (AP 74 Lot 376, Mt. Hope)

City Council Referral

4. Referral 3390—Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance – Presentation of proposed amendments to the zoning ordinance to make clarifications, corrections and technical changes to the new ordinance approved in November of 2014. The zoning map will be amended to expand the I-3E overlay district and indicate A and B streets in Downtown. Both items were inadvertently omitted from the zoning map when it was originally approved – for action



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


  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

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

Please complete our Community Needs Survey:


WPRI: Sources: New PawSox owners want to move to Providence


McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. Photo (cc) Drew Bennett.

The new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox want to move the team to a privately-financed stadium in Providence, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

The stadium would be paid for by the new owners, but they would require the state to give them land at no cost, according to sources. The owners are eying the vacant former I-195 land downtown, which the state borrowed $38.4 million to buy back in 2013. The money, plus interest, is supposed to be repaid with the proceeds from selling the land.

On Twitter there was speculation of them wanting to use the West Side 195 park, I would say absolutely not to that, we were promised parks, not ballparks.

“We were briefed last night,” [Pawtucket Mayor Don] Grebien said Monday. “It knocked the wind out of us.” The new owners told Grebien they want the team to play in an “urban district with transportation,” he said.

They said ‘urban’ and ‘transportation,’ :swoon: But wait, this needs lots of vetting, don’t try to trick me!

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


walkinpvd-iconState 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.

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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


  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.


Mayor Elorza Twitter Town Hall happening now #AskElorza

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


Mayor Elorza’s Inaugural Address


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.

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UPDATED: City Plan Commission Meeting – September 16, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the August 19th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3382 – Petition to abandon a portion of Stanhope Street – The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Stanhope Street adjacent to AP 97 Lot 12 to add to the area of the lot – for action (Charles)

The Orange Street abandonment has been removed from the CPC Agenda.


Orange Street from Weybosset Street. Image from Google Street View

2. Referral 3384 – Petition to abandon a portion of Orange Street – The applicant intends to abandon the portion of Orange Street located between Weybosset and Middle Street and between AP 20 lots 131 and 135 – for action (Downtown)

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City Plan Commission Meeting – July 29, 2014

featured-bikeped City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 17th meeting – for action
  • Approval of minutes from July 15th – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral No. 3379 – Petition to abandon a portion of Amherst Street The petitioner is requesting to abandon a portion of the width of Amherst Street between 125 Amherst Street (AP 62 Lot 274) and 120 Amherst Street (AP 62 Lot 284) – for action (Olneyville)

2. Referral 3380 – Amendment of the Charles Street Renewal Project Plan Review of the amendment for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan. The amendment proposes expansion of the boundaries of the project area and targets certain blighted properties for acquisition – for action (Charles)

Minor Subdivision

3. Case No. 14-023 MI – 52 Sussex Street The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot at 52 Sussex Street measuring approximately 11,276 SF into two lots measuring 5,433 SF and 5,821 SF – for action (AP 76 Lot 358, Wanskuck)

Public Heariing – Major Land Development Project


4. Case No. 13-039MA – 48-54 Plainfield Street and 4-14 Atwood Street (Preliminary Plan Approval) The applicant is seeking preliminary 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 received relief from the Zoning Board of Review 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. Public comment will be taken – for action (AP 105 Lots 46, 47, 66, 98, 99, 100, Olneyville)

Re: Zoning Providence

5. Update on Re: Zoning Providence A review of the organization and content of the draft zoning ordinance – for discussion



ProJo: Providence City Council OKs tax treaty revision for Capitol Cove development


ProJo reports that the City Council has approved a tax-stabilization agreement for the Capitol Cove building in Capital Center. The building will continue to house Johnson & Wales dormitories but the developer hopes to build a 169-unit apartment building next door.

The City Council gave initial approval Wednesday night to change in a tax treaty with the new owners of the Capitol Cove complex on Canal Street to let the building continue as a rented college dormitory, a move the developers said was needed to get financing for a new 169-unit apartment project they want to build on a vacant lot next door.

Added to the 134-units the owners of the Regency are planning and the real estate market appears to be showing signs of recovery in Providence.


Providence seeks comments on proposed Re:Zoning through July 7th


Wednesday evening Mayor Taveras and the Planning Department presented the final draft of the proposed rezoning plan for the City of Providence. The City is accepting comments on the plan through July 7th. After that it heads to the City Council for final approval.

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195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – June 16, 2014

featured-195commission A meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence, Rhode Island, on MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014, beginning at 5 P.M., for the following purposes

I. Public Session

Call to Order: The Chairperson

  1. Welcome by Chairperson: Chairperson Colin Kane.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on May 19, 2014.
  3. Executive Director’s Report – Review of Activities During Past Month/Action Plan and Business Plan for June – December, 2014.
  4. 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 subsection (5) (acquisition and disposition of public property).

  5. Meetings with Parties Which Submitted Proposals to Purchase and Develop District Property; Discussion and Review of Proposals.
  6. III. Public Session

  7. Discussion Regarding Extension of Deadline for Second Round of Submission of Proposals to Purchase District Property from August 1 to October 15, 2014 and Vote.
  8. Discussion Regarding Public Disclosure of Proposals and Disclosure Policy.
  9. Discussion Regarding License Agreement with City of Providence on Parcel 1A and Vote.
  10. Discussion and Update Regarding Role of State Historic Preservation Officer and Selection of Consultants for Disposition of District Property.
  11. Chairman’s Report – Review of Activities in Past Month and Proposed Future Activities/ Tentative Agenda for June 30, 2014 Meeting.
  12. Vote to Adjourn.

Re:Zoning Providence Public Meeting – June 11, 2014

rezoning-providence-thumbPresentation of Proposed Zoning Ordinance

Mayor Angel Taveras will introduce the City of Providence’s proposed new Zoning Ordinance at a public, Wednesday, June 11 at 6 p.m.

Bringing Providence’s zoning code into the 21st Century is a goal of Mayor Taveras’ economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work. The updated Zoning Ordinance is the result of more than a year of collaboration between City departments, residents, businesses and institutions to develop user-friendly zoning regulations that closely align with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Wednesday, June 11th at 6:00pm
Joseph A. Doorley Municipal Building 444 Westminster Street
  • Presentation by the City’s planning staff
  • Opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on proposed changes
  • Comments received will be incorporated into final draft
    Come be a part of a comprehensive overhaul of the Zoning Ordinance, and help us reshape the future of development in Providence.

For more information, please visit the project website at or call (401) 680-8400.


News & Notes


Proposed Florida Station in Miami.

Gizmodo: 5 Rail Stations From America’s New Golden Age of Train Travel

With a high-speed rail network slowly making its way towards reality, cities are commissioning grand stations for the 21st century to accommodate this new mode of transit. Here are five stations on the horizon that are bringing the drama and glamour back to train travel, while positioning it for a high-tech, high-speed future.

City Journal: Aaron Renn: The Bluest State

“Rhode Island is in the midst of an especially grim economic meltdown,” a 2009 New York Times story began, “and no one can pinpoint exactly why.” Five years later, the state continues to suffer from most of the same problems the Times story described: high unemployment, a crippling tax structure, dangerously underfunded state pension systems. But contrary to the Times’s claims, Rhode Island’s predicament is easy to explain. With no special economic advantages, the state has maintained an entitlement mentality inherited from an age of colonial and industrial grandeur. Rhode Island was once one of America’s most prosperous states, and its rate of higher-education attainment remains better than the national average. But the state’s key industries collapsed long ago, and its political leadership has refused to make adjustments to its high-cost, high-regulation governance system.

The result: a state with “the costs of Minnesota and the quality of Mississippi,” as Rob Atkinson, former executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council, told WPRI-TV. Indeed, Rhode Island is arguably America’s basket case, overlooked only because it is small enough to escape most national scrutiny. Its ruination is a striking corrective to the argument that states can tax, spend, and regulate their way to prosperity.

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