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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 rezoningprovidence.com or call (401) 680-8400.

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Providence appoints new Planning and Urban Development Director

From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Taveras Names Rubén Flores-Marzán Planning and Urban Development Director

State Planning Director for Puerto Rico brings visionary leadership to Providence development

flores-marzan-headshotPROVIDENCE, RI – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has named Rubén Flores-Marzán to the position of Planning and Urban Development Director to lead the City’s Planning Department.

“I am very pleased to announce Rubén Flores-Marzán as the City’s new Planning and Urban Development Director,” said Mayor Taveras. “Mr. Flores-Marzán brings an impressive portfolio of large-scale planning and development projects with him to Providence. I am confident he will serve a vital role in making Providence a better place to live and work.”

Flores-Marzán will begin work in Providence on February 11. As Planning and Urban Development Director for the City of Providence, Flores-Marzán will execute the Mayor’s vision for a livable, sustainable city that encourages economic growth and community development. He will be responsible for the City’s medium- and long-range development strategies on issues ranging from economic growth to historic preservation. The Director of Planning and Urban Development manages a team of about 25 professionals and reports to the City’s Economic Development Director, James S. Bennett.

“I am thrilled to join Mayor Taveras’ administration and look forward to working with Team Providence in achieving our shared aspirations for a more creative, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable City,” said Flores-Marzán.

Flores-Marzán previously served as the State Planning Director for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where he led the Puerto Rico Planning Board – the island’s central planning agency. While serving as the State Planning Director for Puerto Rico, Flores-Marzán implemented a comprehensive development plan across the island.

In 2011, Flores-Marzán coordinated the policy development, approval and implementation of solar and wind energy projects worth over $350 million. He processed development applications worth more than $3.1 billion with an expected employment potential of more than 35,000 jobs. Flores-Marzán championed market-oriented land use, boosting investor confidence and forging partnerships between local government and private enterprise.

Previous to his tenure in Puerto Rico, Flores-Marzán served as a planner for the cities of Cape Coral and Tampa, Florida. He also worked as a planning consultant with CPH Engineers, a Florida-based engineering and planning firm.
Flores-Marzán is licensed by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and speaks both English and Spanish fluently. He holds Master of Arts degrees in Urban Planning and Geography from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Puerto Rico.

“We are delighted to bring Mr. Flores-Marzán’s expertise into the Office of Economic Development. His deep understanding of how we can leverage Providence’s assets with international markets is forward-thinking and very exciting,” said James Bennett, Director of Economic Development. “And his experience in multimodal transportation, serving millions of people, will inform our work with the Port of Providence, our highways and our rail service.”
Mayor Taveras selected Flores-Marzán following a nationwide search that attracted 18 candidates. He was among five finalists recommended to the Mayor for consideration.

I asked Bob Azar, who has been Acting Director of Planning since April after former director Thom Deller left to take a new position in Hartford about the new appointment, Azar said: “I will be moving back to my former position, director of current planning. I am grateful to Mayor Taveras and Jim Bennett for the opportunity to serve as acting director for the past nine months, and am looking forward to working with the new director.”

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Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project Community Meeting, May 30th

RIPTA

Photo (cc) Trisha Crabb

Community Meeting – Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities Project – Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue

The City of Providence and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) invite you to share your thoughts on the future of Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue.

Southside Cultural Center, 393 Broad Street
(formerly Trinity Community Theater)
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
(Presentation at 6:00 PM followed by open house)

  • How is RIPTA improving bus stop locations, bus shelters, and bus service along routes 11 and 20?
  • What is RIPTA’s new R-Line (Rapid Bus) service?
  • What improvements are coming? (bus shelters, trash cans, bicycle racks, wayfinding signage, public art)
  • Where should community hubs and gateways be located?
  • What services and businesses would you like to see along Broad and Elmwood?

The City of Providence and RIPTA have been awarded a Community Planning Challenge Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to conduct the Transportation Corridors to Livable Communities study. Focusing on the highest ridership bus routes in the city — Broad Street, North Main Street, Elmwood Avenue, Chalkstone Avenue, and Manton Avenue — the City and RIPTA are working together to improve transit service, enhance bus stops and other pedestrian amenities, and encourage the development of mixed-income housing and opportunities for jobs and the arts near transit.

For more information, please contact Martina Haggerty, Project Coordinator or visit the project website.

Please join us on May 30th to hear more about this exciting project and to share your thoughts.

A 72-hour notice is required for persons with sensory impairment requiring auxiliary aids. To request this service, please contact the RIPTA Customer Service Manager at 401-784-9500 x183.

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Robert Azar named Acting Director of Providence Planning Department

Thom Deller recently left his long standing post as Director of Planning and Development for the City of Providence to become the Economic Director for Hartford, Connecticut. Today, the Mayor appointed Bob Azar as the Acting Director while the City conducts a nationwide search for a permanent director:

Mayor Taveras Names Robert E. Azar Acting Director of Department of Planning & Development

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras announced today Robert E. Azar of Providence will immediately assume the post of acting Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Providence. Azar will lead the department while a nationwide search for a permanent director begins.

“Bob Azar is a highly-regarded professional with extensive experience in community planning. He has witnessed and played an integral role in the revitalization and development of Providence,” said Mayor Taveras. “Bob led the effort to complete the recently-approved Downtown Zoning Plan and zoning re-write for the I-195 surplus land. He is a professional with a deep understanding of the complex issues affecting development in Providence today. I am confident that Bob will provide the necessary stability during this period of transition.”

Azar will report directly to James S. Bennett, the Director of Economic Development. The position had been held by Thomas E. Deller who recently left Providence to assume a similar position in Hartford, Conn. Azar is a veteran city planner and visiting professor of Urban Studies at Brown University. He joined the Department of Planning and Development in 2000 and has served as the Director of Current Planning since 2007.

Continue Reading →

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Planning Department all a-Twitter

For those of you not down with Twitter, I thought I’d share some of the tweets coming out of the Planning Department this morning:

ProvPlanning
Stay tuned: Mayor is expected to announce the winning design for the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge on Tuesday morning. (!!!)

ProvPlanning
We will also be revealing the names of all 11 design teams from the Providence Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition on Tuesday afternoon.

ProvPlanning
Did you know: there are approx. 46 acres of vacant/underutilzed parcels in the Jewelry District (that’s >45% of the land in the district)!?!

ProvPlanning
Throughout the entire Core Connector Study area there are approx. 106 acres of vacant/underutilized land.

ProvPlanning
Planned New Orleans streetcar line spurs development on surface parking lots: Nola.com

Good stuff.

Follow the Planning Department on Twitter @ProvPlanning and follow Greater City: Providence on Twitter @gcpvd.

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