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Mayor Elorza on MORE SNOWS!!!!

snow-ripta-2015-02-14

From Mayor Elorza:


I want to reach out as yet another snow storm arrives in Providence this evening. Six to fourteen inches of snow is expected by tomorrow.

Here are steps we are taking to prepare for the storm:

  • A citywide parking ban begins at 2:00 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, February 15 and will remain in effect until further notice. We urge everyone to comply with the parking ban, so crews can plow our streets. Cars parked on the street once the parking ban is in effect will be ticketed and towed.
  • We also ask residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks so people can safely get around our city. This is an important public safety concern. The City has begun giving fines to those who still have not cleared snow from the sidewalk in front of their home or business.
  • Trash and recycling collection will continue on a holiday schedule, with a one day delay.
    This winter has brought historic snow to Providence and we have been working around the clock to make every road passable and widen our busiest corridors. We’ve moved truckloads of snow to empty parcels throughout the city and we will continue to clear the snow long after the storm passes.

There is no challenge we cannot overcome when we come together as a community. So to everyone who lives, works and does business in Providence – thank you.

Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we continue to make it through this historic winter, and thank you for all you do for Providence.

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New week, new snowstorm

snow-tree

Providence schools closed on Monday, parking bans starts at 12:01am Monday, trash/recycling collection delayed one day.

Helpful Links:

More information from the City of Providence:


Providence Public Schools Closed Tomorrow, Monday Feb. 9, 2015

Citywide Parking Ban in Effect at 12:01 AM on Monday – Garbage and Recycling Collection on Holiday Schedule

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced a series of actions in response to a winter storm expected to escalate in the early hours of Monday, February 9 and continue through the day.

Providence Public Schools and afterschool activities are canceled Monday, February 9, 2015. City Recreation Centers will be closed Monday as well.

A citywide parking ban will go into effect at 12:01AM on Monday, February 9 and remain in effect until further notice. Residents with overnight parking passes are advised that they cannot park on the street during the duration of the citywide parking ban. All vehicles parked on the street in violation of the citywide parking ban will be ticketed and towed to ensure that roadways can be plowed.

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2″-14″ of Snow Monday!

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DID ‘Yellow Jackets’ clearing snow downtown last week.

Providence schools canceled Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015.

No school in Providence Monday, parking ban at 2am Monday, more information from the City of Providence:


Providence Public Schools Closed Tomorrow, Monday Feb. 2, 2015

Citywide Parking Ban in Effect at 2AM – Garbage and Recycling Collection on Holiday Schedule

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced a series of actions ahead of a winter storm expected to begin in the early morning hours of Monday, February 2, 2015.

Providence Public Schools and afterschool activities are canceled Monday, February 2, 2015. City Recreation Centers will be closed Monday as well.

A citywide parking ban will go into effect at 2AM on Monday, February 2 and remain in effect until further notice. Residents with overnight parking passes are advised that they cannot park on the street during the duration of the citywide parking ban. All vehicles parked on the street in violation of the citywide parking ban will be ticketed and towed to ensure that roadways can be plowed.

Garbage and recycling pickup in Providence will proceed on a holiday schedule. Monday’s garbage and recycling pick-up will take place on Tuesday and all pick-up for the rest of the week will take place a day later with Friday’s pick-up taking place on Saturday. Residents who did not receive trash pick-up last week due to the storm and have urgent and additional concerns can call the Office of Neighborhood Services at 401-421-2489.

“We expect heavy snowfall, high winds and other conditions that will significantly impact both the morning and evening commutes on Monday,” Mayor Elorza said. “I urge residents to comply with the citywide parking ban, exercise caution and prepare for rapidly changing travel conditions throughout the day. If you see a person or a family in need, please do what you can to either lend a helping hand or notify the City. When we all pull together, we are capable of overcoming any challenge.”

The Department of Public Works has prepared all equipment and personnel to respond to the storm. Roadways will be pretreated ahead of expected snowfall. The Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) will begin a partial activation the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 12AM on Monday.

The City’s snow hotline will be open Monday through the duration of the storm at 401-680-8080. Residents experiencing power outages should contact National Grid at 800-322-3223. Individuals are warned never to touch downed power lines and report downed lines to National Grid. In the event of an emergency always dial 911.

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STORM OF THE DECAMILLENNIUM!

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February 2013 blizzard.

Helpful Links:

Tues., Jan. 27 – 5:20pm

  • MBTA to resume service Wednesday morning, expect delays.
  • RIPTA buses will start operating Wednesday at 8am as road conditions allow. Expect delays and diversions, check their website for updates.
  • Providence Parking Ban ends at 6am Wednesday.
  • Providence Schools closed Wednesday.
  • No trash/recycling collection in Providence Wednesday, regular service resumes Thursday.

Mon., Jan. 26 – 10pm: Update from the City of Providence:


Providence City Offices Closed Tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Garbage and recycling collection canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday – Mayor Elorza activates Corporate Emergency Access System

PROVIDENCE, RI – Due to the severe winter storm, Providence City offices will be closed during regular business hours on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Non-essential employees should not report for work.

City Hall and all City offices are expected to reopen during regular business hours on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

Garbage and recycling pickup in Providence is canceled for tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 27, and Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. The collection schedule is not being changed. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s trash and recycling will be collected next Tuesday and Wednesday. Residents with Tuesday and Wednesday pick-ups are advised not to put their garbage and recycling cans out until next week on their usual pickup day.

A citywide parking ban remains in effect until further notice. Residents with overnight parking passes are advised that they cannot park on the street during the duration of the citywide parking ban. All vehicles parked on the street in violation of the citywide parking ban will be ticketed and towed to ensure that roadways can be plowed.

In the event of an emergency, always dial 911. Residents are advised that 911 emergency responders may be delayed during the storm. Residents experiencing power outages should contact National Grid at 800-322-3223. Individuals are warned never to touch downed power lines and report downed lines to National Grid or PEMA.

For non-emergencies, a snow hotline is available to Providence residents at 401-680-8080.

All afterschool and evening activities for Providence Public Schools are canceled Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. City Recreation Centers will be closed Tuesday.

“This is going to be a long and intense storm with frigid temperatures and high winds through the night,” Mayor Elorza said. “We urge residents to stay safe. If you see a person or a family in need, please do what you can to either lend a helping hand or notify the City. When we all pull together, we are capable of overcoming any challenge.”

No RIPTA service on Tuesday, also:

SERVICE ALERT::Route 11 & 60:: In an effort to comply with the midnight travel ban instituted tonight by Governor Raimondo, the following trips will not run tonight:
#11 – Broad City Line N/B Trip at 12:30 AM (the last North Bound trip on the #11 line will be at 12:10 AM)
#60 – Providence/Newport O/B Trip at 12:05 AM (the last Out Bound trip on the #60 line will be at 11:05 PM)

SRTA (Fall River/New Bedford) buses shutting down starting at 5:10, see list of last buses. No service Tuesday morning, tentative re-opening at noon Tuesday.
MBTA closing at midnight Monday, no service all day Tuesday.
Governor Raimondo urges everyone to get off the roads by 8pm. A travel ban is in effect starting at midnight Monday. Anyone who is found driving on the roads then could be subject to arrest.ProJo
ServeRI seeks volunteers to help remove snow for those who are unable to remove snow themselves.

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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.

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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

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.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – January 12, 2015

featured-drc Downtown Design Review Committee
Monday, January 12, 2015 – 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 December 12, 2014
  • Annual Election of Vice Chair

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 14.25: 342 Eddy Street (Public Hearing) – The subject of the hearing will be an application by CV SSL Garage, LLC requesting waivers from D-1 Design Regulations for non-conforming new construction. The applicant is proposing to construct a new parking garage at 342 Eddy Street, Providence, RI. The applicant is seeking waivers from the requirements for transparency and multiple entrances at the ground floor level on the Eddy Street elevation, and for the recess line requirement for buildings over 6 stories.

This is the parking garage being built as part of the South Street Landing project.

south-street-landing-housing

Rendering of student housing building along Point Street

2. DRC Application No. 14.26: 11-15 Point Street (Public Hearing) – The subject of the hearing will be an application by CV SSL River House, LLC requesting a waiver from D-1 Design Regulations for non-conforming new construction. The applicant is proposing to construct a new mixed-use residential development at 11-15 Point Street, Providence, RI. The applicant is seeking a waiver from the recess line requirement for buildings over 6 stories.

This is the residential new construction at the South Street Landing project.

3. DRC Application No. 14.27: 10 Dorrance Street (Howard Building) – Proposal to install new signage for VP Fitness on the exterior of the building.

Adjournment


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Brown Daily Herald: Federal, state officials break ground on Dynamo project

south-street-landing-housing

Rendering of student housing building along Point Street

Private sector leaders gathered with federal, state and municipal officials in a ceremony Monday to kick off renovations to the Jewelry District’s South Street Power Station, popularly known as the Dynamo House.

The revamp — expected to be complete by the fall of 2016 — will result in a nursing education center shared by Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island, as well as graduate housing and administrative offices for the University.

Officials joked that this would be “the last groundbreaking at this particular site,” said Dick Galvin ’79, president and founder of Commonwealth Ventures Properties, poking fun at failed past projects that attempted to renovate the former power station, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to the actual groundbreaking, officials ranging from Galvin to Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’17 P’14 P’17 voiced their excitement about the project to a crowd of more than 200.

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The Commons at Providence Station – aka Capitol Cove Building B

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View from intersection of Smith and Canal Streets

Today the Capital Center Commission approved plans for a new building in Capital Center, the second phase of Capitol Cove, now dubbed, The Commons at Providence Station.

The developer described the building in a presentation to the Commission:

Phase II – The Commons at Providence Station

The first phase of Capitol Cove was the construction of Building A in 2005. The current phase is development of Building B on Parcel 6, and the project has been renamed to The Commons at Providence Station. The project will consist of 169 units of residential apartments, approximately 169 enclosed parking spaces, as well as amenity areas, leasing office, and community spaces.

Site
The site extends the established street grid and breaks down
the scale of the building into an appropriate size for the site. The site boundaries are Smith Street to the North, Canal Street along the East, and the existing Building A along the South edge of the site towards Park Row. The West elevation of the building faces the catenaries and rail line of the Amtrak/MBTA commuter rail lines.

The entry to the site will be along an existing road which runs parallel to Building A. The drive entry up to Building B will consist of a circular courtyard and will provide a drop-off area, entry into the garage (west side), and an area set aside for van or truck parking for building deliveries. This space will also accommodate moving trucks to allow for clearance of any vehicular or pedestrian traffic within the courtyard entry. The Riverwalk will connect from Building A up to Smith Street.

Design
The approved design has been maintained for the new project. The approach to newer, more efficient building materials and finish materials has been considered in the current design. The shape of the building and surrounding area remain true to the intent of the original design approved by the Committee in 2003.

Facade
The design incorporates architectural variety in the approach
to materials to allow for smaller, distinct architectural districts rather than a monolithic development. Materials used in Building A will be incorporated in Building B. The buildings will be finished in two tones of brick, metal panel accents, and exterior painted cementitious panel system.

Parking
Two levels of parking are planned. Level P1 will enter from the East at the entry courtyard. Level P2 will enter from Smith Street. Level P1 will connect the entry, amenity, and community spaces. Both Level P1 and P2 will include residential units along the Canal Street side.

Summary
Building B is a challeng ing use of the undeveloped area of Parcel 6 because of the close proximity to the Amtrak/commuter rail lines, which generate noise and feature prominent catenary lines. These detrimental features make this parcel especially difficult and costly to develop. Taking these challenges into consideration, the team seeks to address these issues with design solutions. The development will include a continuation of the Riverwalk from Building A, and complete the connection from Park Row West to Smith Street, allowing uninterrupted pedestrian access. The area along the Riverwalk will include landscaping similar to that on the adjacent sites. The building will be designed and built to follow LEED Design Guidelines and will seek to meet LEED Silver criteria at minimum.


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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)

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New Providence Zoning Ordinance effective December 24, 2014

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Lots of information to digest in this new ordinance, some highlights as we see it; no parking minimums downtown, parking maximums in designated transit oriented development areas, special provisions for neighborhood commercial in residential areas, changes on Broadway to the Residential-Professional zone to allow more neighborhood commercial by right.

What does everyone else think?


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2014 Providence free holiday parking program starts Black Friday

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From the City:


Mayor Taveras Announces Return of Free Holiday Parking

City offers two hours of free parking for shoppers beginning November 28th

PROVIDENCE – To accommodate holiday shoppers and support local businesses during the busy holiday sales season, Mayor Taveras announced today that there will be two hours of free parking in designated commercial districts throughout Providence.

Shoppers will be offered two hours of free parking from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. beginning Friday, November 28, 2014 through Thursday, January 1, 2015 in the following commercial districts:

  • Atwells Avenue – Bradford Street to Knight Street
  • Broad Street – Public Street to Montgomery Street
  • Downtown Providence – bounded by Fountain Street, Memorial Boulevard, Weybosset Street, Empire Street and Friendship Street (from Dyer Street to Dorrance Street)
  • Hope Street – Rochambeau Avenue to Blackstone Boulevard
  • North Main Street – Thomas Street to Park Row
  • Olneyville Square – Route 10 to Sydney Street and Delaine Street to Atwood Street to Magnolia Street
  • South Main Street – James Street to Packet Street
  • Point St – From Eddy to East Franklin St
  • Thayer Street – Meeting Street to Bowen Street
  • Wayland Square – East Angell Street/Angell Street to Gano Street and Wayland Avenue from Angell Street to Pitman Street
  • Wickenden/Ives – Wickenden Street at Benefit Street to Ives Street at Preston Street

The holiday parking program is designed to make it easier for shoppers to patronize local businesses. The two-hour parking limit will be strictly enforced by parking enforcement officers. Cars parked illegally in prohibited areas, including crosswalks and tow zones, will be ticketed during this period.


So no excuse not to Buy Local this holiday season.

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News & Notes

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Eddy Street in Providence. Image from Google Street View.

CityLab: Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

Unfortunately, trained to expect this sort of behavior, highway engineers apply the same logic to the design of city streets, where people behave in an entirely different way. On city streets, most drivers ignore posted speed limits, and instead drive the speed at which they feel safe. That speed is set by the cues provided by the environment. Are there other cars near me? Is an intersection approaching? Can I see around that corner? Are there trees and buildings near the road? Are there people walking or biking nearby? And: How wide is my lane?

When lanes are built too wide, pedestrians are forced to walk further across streets on which cars are moving too fast and bikes don’t fit.
All of these factors matter, and others, too. The simplest one to discuss, and probably the most impactful, is lane width. When lanes are built too wide, many bad things happen. In a sentence: pedestrians are forced to walk further across streets on which cars are moving too fast and bikes don’t fit.

As with most other State and County road departments across the country, RIDOT mostly insists that all roads should strive for 12′ lanes and the Providence DPW does not much disagree.


BuzzFeed News: The Hidden Reason Why Rent Is So Expensive In Cities: Parking Spaces

While many factors contribute to drive up the price of rents, parking is among the most significant, according to University of California Los Angeles professor and renowned parking guru Donald Shoup. BuzzFeed News sat down with Shoup during the CityLab 2014 conference in Los Angeles Monday to talk about how parking makes housing more expensive. His point: “It’s unfair to have cities where parking is free for cars and housing is expensive for people.”


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News & Notes

One proposal to combat sea-level rise in Boston, convert Clarendon Street into a canal.

BostInno: 6 Visuals for How Boston Can Adapt to Rising Sea Levels

Though Boston has historically grown outwards into the ocean, with landfill expanding its boundaries over the decades, the threat of it being submerged back into the Atlantic is very real. Though the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has introduced numerous legislation in an attempt to curtail rising sea levels, as has the City of Boston, there needs to be a shift in thinking from how we can combat the effects of climate change to how we can adapt to them.

A new report published by the Urban Land Institute’s Boston/NewEngland branch makes a number of municipal design suggestions and reaffirms on several occasions that the time to act is now.

The study, called The Implications of Living With Water, examines four specified areas dangerously at-risk should Mother Nature decide to unleash her wrath in the form of a hurricane not unlike Sandy, which devastated the Eastern seaboard from New York City down to Florida.


BostInno: It’s Official: Allston Is Going to Get a New MBTA Station

Tuesday afternoon Governor Deval Patrick announced that previously derailed plans for West Station are back on. When West Station is complete, commuters will be able to make direct trips back and forth between Allston and Back Bay or South Station – without having to suffer the misery of the Green Line.

Harvard University will help pay for the new railroad station in Boston’s Allston neighborhood.

The MBTA has long range plans to do short run subway-like service on some of it’s commuter rail lines within areas in and close to Boston using smaller DMU trains.

If/when the MBTA moves ahead with plans for purchasing DMU’s, Rhode Island should be ready to get on board with them (sorry). DMU’s would be perfect for running higher frequency intra-state service in Rhode Island.


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Providence PARK(ing) DAY – September 19, 2014

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Union Studio‘s parklet last year. Photo by Rachel Playe

From Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects:


September 19, 2014 8:00am – 4:00pm

Come out and join us for the second annual PARK(ing) Day Providence!

This year, PARK(ing) Day Providence will have 32 parklets in Downtown, the West Side, and the East Side and a protected bike lane on Broadway. We can’t express our thanks enough to the Downtown Improvement District, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association, the Department of Public Works, the City of Providence, and all of our amazing sponsors.

Check out the maps to plan your tour of the parklets on the 19th!

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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

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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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

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