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I-195 Redevelopment District Commission Meeting – September 26, 2017

Rendering of proposed Parcel 1A hotel released in April 2017

I-195 Redevelopment District Commission – Notice of Public Meeting A regular meeting of the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission will be held at Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, 315 Iron Horse Way, Suite 101, Providence, Rhode Island, on Tuesday September 26, 2017, beginning at 5:00 P.M., for the following purposes:

195-roundI. Public Session

  1. Welcoming Remarks by Chairperson Azrack.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on August 21, 2017.
  3. Executive Director’s Report.
  4. Report and Vote on the District’s Financial Audit by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, Chief Financial Officer, Lisa Lasky and Commission Treasurer Elizabeth Huidekoper.
  5. Presentation on the proposed development for Parcel 1A by Gerald and Jack Fandetti of the Kendall Hotel Group (followed by Public Comment).
  6. Vote to consider approval of a Level 1 application as submitted by the Kendall Hotel Group for a proposed development on Parcel 1A.
  7. Discussion and Vote to consider the allocation of funds from the I-195 Project Fund as requested by the District for the purposes related to temporary parking on Parcels 27 and 25.
  8. Chairperson’s Report/Agenda for next meeting on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 5:00 P.M.
  9. Vote to Adjourn.
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ProJo: 195 redevelopment commission OKs temporary parking plan

Parcels 27 and 28 are on either side of Clifford Street south of Richmond Street. Image from Google Maps

Parking issues that have arisen as perhaps the final stumbling block before a development team starts building its planned innovation center and hotel on former highway land were addressed Monday night when the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission agreed to allow temporary surface parking on some of its land, if necessary.

[…]

After a brief public hearing with few speakers, the I-195 Commission voted to allow nearly 2 acres of the former highway land — Parcels 27 and 28 — to be used for surface parking if the innovation center is ready to occupy before a nearby parking garage is ready to accommodate judges, lawyers and court officials from the J. Joseph Garrahy Judicial Complex. But that 1,200-space parking garage is also intended to accommodate 400 anticipated workers in the planned innovation center and adjacent hotel.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – July 18, 2017

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from June 20, 2017 regular meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report – In memory of Commissioner Meredyth Church

Minor Subdivision

1. Case No. 17-016MI – 13 Cushing Street (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 10,577 SF into two lots measuring 5,002 SF and 5,575 SF. Continued from the June 20, 2017 meeting – for action (AP 10 Lot 232, College Hill)

2. Case No. 17-023MI – 1 Dorrance Plaza (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot measuring approximately 139,941 SF (3.2 acres) into two lots measuring 65,020 SF and 66,390 SF – for action (AP 20 Lot 264, Downtown)

City Council Referral

3. Referral – Amendment to Section 1919 of the zoning ordinance – Petition to amend Section 1919 of the zoning ordinance to require approval of the City Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Review to change the use of a first floor to a residential use in the Atwells, Broadway and Westminster Commercial Corridors – for action

Unified Development Review

4. Discussion of changes to the zoning ordinance – Discussion of procedures to administer Unified Development Review for land development projects as detailed in the revised Zoning Ordinance and Development Review Regulations – for discussion

Adjournment

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The impacts of where we park

A few weeks back my wife and I were walking around the corner of our street on the west side when we noticed that if felt different. On both sides of the street the curbs were parked with cars—our neighbors across the street were having a house party. Typically there are few cars parked on our street, with the consequence that the street feels very wide and cars go speeding down it. But with the street densely parked the drive lanes are narrowed; drivers feel more constrained driving down the street causing them to slow down. Sometimes cars even have to stop to give way to a car going the other way, helping slow traffic on an otherwise quiet residential street with many children and pets. There’s even a name for this kind of street, a “give-way street.”

We saw another example of this phenomena during PVD Fest. The Sunday party in Dexter Training Ground meant that hundreds of cars were parking in the usually vacant on-street parking spaces around the park. Usually Dexter Street and Parade Street feature cars accelerating up the wide drives past a park where children play, but again the parked cars slowed traffic by narrowing the road width, and bonus: put a wall of steel between the moving cars and the sidewalk and park.

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Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting – July 19, 2017

Providence Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission Meeting
Wednesday, July 19, 2017, 4:45 PM
Doorley Municipal Building, 444 Westminster Street, First Floor, Providence, RI 02903

bpac-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of June 2017 Meeting Minutes (For Action)
  3. “Olney Street Improvements” – College Hill, Mount Hope – Wards 2 and 3 (For Action) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding preliminary design plans to restripe Olney Street to include bike lanes. In addition to normal BPAC discussion, this will serve as a public hearing regarding the potential removal of parking from portions of the street.
  4. “Harris Avenue Improvements” – Olneyville – Ward 15 (For Action) — The City seeks comments from the BPAC regarding preliminary design plans to restripe Harris Avenue to include a separated two-way bike lane. In addition to normal BPAC discussion, this will serve as a public hearing regarding the potential removal of parking from portions of the street.
  5. Announcements and Staff Updates (For Discussion)
  6. Adjournment
Full disclosure: I am a member of this Commission.
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Joint Meeting with the Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission – June 14, 2017

Meeting Notice
Joint Meeting with the Design Review Committee of the Capital Center Commission

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – 12:00 noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

Agendaccc-round

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    Meeting of April 12, 2017
  3. Designation of Legal Service Provider
  4. Parcels 3E, 3W, 4E and 4W: Parking Lots
    Request for extension of interim parking lot approvals.
  5. Parcel 13: Providence Place Mall
    Proposal to alter the existing sidewalk planter along Francis Street.
  6. Intermodal Transit Center
    This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken on this item.
  7. Adjournment

Capital Center Parcel Map for Reference

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PawSox Stadium Proposals Feature Copious Waterfront Surface Parking

WPRI reports today that the proposed stadium plan for the PawSox in Pawtucket includes a hotel and housing. What struck me about the plans though, was the parking

“Apex” (l) and “Tidewater” (r) proposals for a new PawSox Stadium in Pawtucket

You guys, seriously, when are we going to stop paving over our riverbanks?

Sigh.

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – May 8, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee
Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, May 8, 2017 – 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of February 13, 2017 and March 13, 2017

New Business

1. DRC Application No. 17.07: 66 Fountain Street and 78 Fountain Street (commercial building and parking lot) – Continued review of the proposal by 78 Fountain JV Owner LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 66 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 6-story, mixed-use building on the site at 78 Fountain Street. The applicant was granted preliminary approval of the demolition, preliminary (conceptual) approval of the new construction, and waivers from the Design Standards for New Construction at the March 13, 2017 DRC meeting. The applicant is returning to the DRC for final design review.

2. DRC Application No. 17.12: 350 Eddy Street (South Street Landing) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by the CV Properties LLC, requesting a waiver from Providence Zoning Ordinance Section 1607.E, Freestanding Signs, which prohibits freestanding signs in the D-1 Zone. As per Section 1601.D, the DDRC is authorized to grant a waiver to sign regulations as part of their review and approval. The applicant is proposing to install an approximately 30’ tall, double-faced, internally illuminated freestanding sign at 350 Eddy Street. The DRC will also be reviewing the sign design at this meeting.

Rendering of proposed Garrahy Courthouse parking garage

3. DRC Application No. 17.18: Garrahy Courthouse Parking Structure: Intersection of Richmond, Friendship & Clifford Streets – Proposal by the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority to construct a 1,250 car open parking structure with ground floor commercial, to be located on a vacant site at the intersection of Richmond, Friendship and Clifford Streets. The project site is currently used as surface parking.

Pre-Application Review

4. 10 Dorrance Street (Howard Building) – Proposal by Bank Newport to install a new storefront system on the ground floor of the building (Dorrance and Westminster Street elevations) as part of a tenant space fit out. This item is for discussion only. No action will be taken by the DRC at this meeting.

Adjournment

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Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting – March 13, 2017

Downtown Design Review Committee Meeting
Notice of Regular Meeting
Monday, March 13, 2017 4:45pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

drc-round

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Meeting Minutes of 1/9/17

New Business

View of proposed building as seen from the corner of Washington and Mathewson Streets (Cube3 Architects)

1. DRC Application No. 17.07: 66 Fountain Street and 78 Fountain Street (commercial building and parking lot) – Public Hearing – The subject of the hearing will be an application by 78 Fountain JV Owner LLC, to demolish the existing structure located at 66 Fountain Street, and to construct a new 6?story, mixed?use building on the site at 78 Fountain Street. The applicant is requesting a Downtown District Demolition Waiver (Zoning Ordinance Section 1907.2), and a waiver from Zoning Ordinance Section 606.E.1 Building Facades/Ground Floor Transparency. At the conclusion of the hearing, the DDRC will take action with respect to these items.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – December 20, 2016

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the November 15, 2016, meeting – for action
  • Adoption of 2017 meeting calendar
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral 3409 – 12 Lenox Avenue – The petitioner is requesting to rezone 12 Lenox Ave from R-2 to C-2. The lot measures approximately 12,000 SF – for action (AP 53 Lot 386, Blackstone)

Minor Subdivision

2. 16-055MI – 210 Windmill Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 28,932 SF in the R-1 zone into two lots measuring 12,382 SF and 16,550 SF – for action (AP 97 Lot 409, Charles)

3. 16-057MI – 246 Gallatin Street – The applicant is requesting to subdivide a lot measuring 14,996 SF in the R-1 zone into three lots; two measuring 5,000 SF and one measuring 4,996 SF. The minimum lot size in the R-1 zone is 5,000 SF. The applicant will apply for an administrative modification for the undersized lot – for action (AP 52 Lot 572, Elmwood)

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One Hundred Harris, Proposed Parking with Residences at Old Fruit & Produce Warehouse Site

A proposal by the Carpionato Group for 776 parking spaces and 459 residential units at 100 Harris Avenue (aka the Old Fruit and Produce Warehouse) is on the City Plan Commission Agenda for their meeting on December 20th.

From the CPC Agenda:

MAJOR LAND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT – PUBLIC INFORMATIONAL MEETING
6. Case No. 16-054 MA – 100 Harris Avenue (Master Plan) – The applicant is proposing to construct two buildings and a parking structure on three lots measuring a total of approximately 6.06 acres. The development will provide 459 residential units and 776 parking spaces in addition to residential amenities. The site is zoned M-MU 90 – for action (AP 26 Lot 368 and 370, AP 19 Lot 38, Olneyville)

So this is weird and ugly, and holy parking! But it is also in that tragic no-mans land behind the mall, so…

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City announces free parking for local shopping for the holiday season, #ThinkPVD

think-pvd-elorza

Photo from the Mayor’s Office

From the Mayor’s Office:


Mayor Elorza Relaunches #ThinkPVD Campaign, Free Holiday Parking for Shoppers

Mayor Jorge Elorza today joined local businesses representatives and community members to relaunch Providence’s #ThinkPVD campaign encouraging residents and visitors to “think, shop, and buy locally” in the City this holiday season.

“This Saturday as we celebrate Small Business Saturday nationwide – I encourage you to take advantage of the amazing local shops and restaurants we have here in Providence,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “As you shop this holiday season and throughout the year, I ask that you support our business community by continuing to #ThinkPVD when making all of your purchases.” This is the second year of the #ThinkPVD campaign which aims to build upon the success of Small Business Saturday by promoting celebration and support of the local economy.

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Atwells at Knight – Proposed Mixed-Use Building on Federal Hill

434-atwells-001

Rendering of Atwells at Knight by Northeast Collaborative Architects

At their November 15th meeting, the City Plan Commission will be reviewing a proposal to construct a 5-story building with ground floor commercial with apartments on the upper-floors at 434 Atwells Avenue on Federal Hill. The proposed project contains 40 parking spaces partially enclosed and partially in an open surface lot.

The CPC’s agenda item:

The applicant is requesting master plan approval to construct a mixed use development in the C-1 zone that will provide forty residential units, forty internal parking spaces and retail space on the ground floor. A height of 50 feet and five stories is proposed. The applicant is seeking a dimensional adjustment from the 45 feet, 4 story height limit of the zone and an adjustment for two parking spaces – for action (AP 28 Lot 150 – 9,993 SF, AP 33 Lot 508 – 10,353 SF, Federal Hill)

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – November 9, 2016

Capital Center Commission Meeting
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 – 12:00 noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. 1. Roll Call
  2. 2. Minutes
    Meetings of June 15, 2016 and July 27, 2016
  3. 3. State Parking Study
    Presentation by Gerald Salzman of Desman Parking Specialists on the progress of the parking study.
  4. 4. Chairman’s Report
  5. 5. Adjournment
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News & Notes

flickr-parking-laura-bittner

Residential parking. Photo (cc) Laura Bittner

The New York Times: Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great

“Inner city,” in short, is imprecise in describing today’s urban reality. It captures neither the true geography of poverty or black America, nor the quality of life in many communities in central cities. But politically, its 1970s-era meaning lingers.


The Boston Globe: ‘Inner cities’ are a solution, not a problem

The current GOP presidential nominee talks about urban America in similarly apocalyptic terms. “Inner-city crime is reaching record levels,” he’s insisted, even though rates of violence in most cities have plunged over a generation. “You walk down the street, you get shot,” he said in Monday’s debate.

It’s not just Trump. The stereotype of “inner cities” as hopeless pits of chaos and despair still resonates with lots of anxious exurbanites who seldom venture downtown. It’s code language that pulls public policy in the wrong direction. It also draws attention away from the role that cities could play in making the entire economy stronger.


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City Plan Commission Meeting – October 18, 2016

holiday-inn-pine-street

Rendering of Holiday Inn Express proposed for Pine Street.

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 4:45pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room
444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from the September 20, 2016 meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Minor Subdivision

1. Case No. 16-042 MI – 25 Balton Road – The applicant is proposing to subdivide a lot in the R-1A zone measuring 40,750 SF into five lots. Two of the lots will measure approximately 8,750 SF. The other lots will approximately measure 7,727 SF, 8,024 SF and 7,500 SF – for action (AP 93 Lot 347, Blackstone)

Major Land Development Project Public Hearing

2. Case No. 16-043MA – 148 West River Street – The applicant is requesting a major change/amendment to an approved plan. The CPC approved a two (2) story 12,000 SF addition and atrium to a medical office building in September 2016, which the applicant is proposing to alter to a three (3) story 17,000 SF atrium and addition. The property is zoned M-1 – for action (AP 100 Lots 15 and 49, Mt. Hope)

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