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Providence City Plan Commission Meeting – October 17, 2017

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, October 17, 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 August 15, 2017, regular meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Public Hearing

1. Huntington Ave / Salvati Way Green Infrastructure Grant – The Department of Planning and Development will present their application for a state grant to install green infrastructure along the Huntington Ave corridor and will explain how the project conforms with the Comprehensive Plan – for discussion

Land Development Project Public Hearing

2. Case No. 15-039MA – 200 Corliss Street and 303 West River Street (Major Change) – The applicant is requesting to amend an approved preliminary plan. The three story 57,000 SF building initially planned for Lot 379 will be changed for construction of two buildings on the same lot. The applicant is proposing to construct a one story building with a 13,400 SF footprint and a three story building with a footprint of 38,100 SF with internal parking on the first floor and two stories of office space on the second and third floor – for action (Mt. Hope, AP 74 Lots 399 and 379)

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WPRI: Bike-share service coming to Providence

Image from Social Bicycles’ blog

City Councilman Bryan Principe, who represents Ward 13, will introduce a resolution at Tuesday’s council meeting that would authorize the Elorza administration to enter into a five-year $400,000 contract with Social Bicycles, a well-known company that will oversee the “implementation, management, and operation” of the bike-share service.

[…]

The bikes will be located at 40 stations near the Downtown Transit Connector, which will run from Capital Center through downtown to the Rhode Island Hospital area. Other stations will be placed in Fox Point, College Hill and portions of the West End and Federal Hill, according to the RFP.

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City Plan Commission Meeting – April 25, 2017

Providence City Plan Commission Notice of Regular Meeting
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 4:45 PM
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building, 1st Floor Meeting Room 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

cpc-round

Opening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from March 21, 2017 regular meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

Major Land Development Project – Public Hearing

1. Case No. 16-064MA Meeting Street School (Preliminary Plan) – The applicant is seeking preliminary plan approval for the first and second phases of the redevelopment of Meeting Street School. The applicant is proposing to construct extensions to the east, west and central wings of the main building at 1000 Eddy Street. This phase will also include redevelopment of the Challenger Field, development of the north parking lot and landscaping improvements along Seymour Street. The applicant is seeking a waiver from submission of state approvals at the preliminary plan stage – for action (AP 47 Lots 153, 542, 543, 548, 701, 780, 782, 784, 809, 810, 814, 833 AP 54 Lots 37, 39, 41, 42, 119, 120, Lower South Providence)

City Council Referral

2. Referral 3415 – Changes to Zoning Ordinance – Changes to zoning ordinance including inclusion of regulations for unified development review, technical changes, outlining of fee schedule, changes to the lot merger provision, clarifications and map changes. Continued from the March 21 meeting – for action

Development Review Regulation – Public Hearing

3. Amendment of the City Plan Commission’s Development Review Regulations – The Commission will review the amendments to the Development review regulations which are being amended to allow for unified development review, to ensure consistency with the Zoning Ordinance and state law, to correct technical and clerical errors and adjust administrative fees – for action

Adjournment

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RIPTA Downtown Transit Corridor Public Meeting – December 6, 2016

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From RIPTA:


RIPTA and the City of Providence to Hold Community Meeting on Downtown Transit Connector (DTC)

Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, December 6th at 5:00 pm at the Joseph Doorley Municipal Building in Providence

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the City of Providence are hosting a community meeting to provide an initial overview of plans for a high-frequency transit corridor in downtown Providence. The meeting is also intended to solicit ideas and public input on the project. The transit corridor will connect the Providence Amtrak/MBTA Station and the Hospital District with high-frequency bus service.

The meeting will be held from 5:00pm to 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at the Joseph Doorley Municipal Building (1st Floor), located at 444 Westminster Street in Providence.

The corridor, which has the working name of the Downtown Transit Connector (DTC), will create six “station-like” stops between Providence Station and the Hospital District. These stops will be designed with a unique and highly-visible identity and will include bus shelters, real time information bus arrival signage, bike share stations and other passenger amenities. The project will strive to create attractive public spaces around each stop.

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News & Notes

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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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ProJo: Feds reject $175-million grant for 6-10 interchange project – City Workshop Scheduled on July 19, 2016

route-6-10-label

Plans to rebuild Routes 6 and 10 were dealt a setback Friday as Rhode Island’s bid for a $175-million federal grant for the project was passed over, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation said.

[…]

“While we are disappointed that we did not receive the FASTLANE grant funding for the Route 6-10 Interchange project, we remain committed to moving this long-delayed project forward,” said DOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. in the release. “RIDOT will move quickly to evaluate our options to tackle this problem and present a recommendation for next steps.”

[…]

The state and its consultants are refining a design for the 6/10 project, which is estimated to cost $959 million, in anticipation of seeking federal environmental approval for construction.


ONE BILLION DOLLARS is just a kookoo bananas amount of money for a highway interchange.

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ProJo: $800M Route 6-10 Connector plan gains fans at 1st public hearing

The initial estimate for the “hybrid” design assumed a $500-$550 million price for the highway portion of the project and $300 million for the bus line and stations. However in a March 25 letter to federal officials expressing interest in a $150-million grant for the project, DOT listed the highway portion of the project at $650 million.

DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin said the $650-million estimate included the possibility that the project could be expanded to include repair of additional structurally deficient bridges, such as one at Plainfield Street. He could not immediately say whether the total price tag, including the transit component, would then grow to $950 million, or whether the state’s share of the project would still be $400 million.


Do we think we’ll be told the project is going to cost a billion dollars before or after they start construction?

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Capital Center Commission Meeting – April 13, 2016

Capital Center Commission Meeting Notice
Wednesday, APRIL 13, 2016 – 12:00 Noon
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room Providence, RI 02903

ccc-roundAgenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Minutes
    2.1 Approval of Commission Meeting Minutes of January 13, 2016 and March 9, 2016
    2.2 Acceptance of Design Review Committee Meeting Minutes of December 15, 2015 and February 16, 2016
  3. Parcels 10 and 13: Providence Place Mall
    Request for approval of Phases 2 and 3 of the proposed improvement plan for sidewalk and landscape modifications along the mall’s frontage on Francis Street, and proposed changes to the former JC Penny building façade (south elevation) and Park Street and Hayes Street garage entrances. Phase 1 of the improvement plan was approved by the Commission at the March 9, 2016 meeting.
  4. Adjournment
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Community Conversation on the Future of the 6/10 Connector – March 23, 2016

6-10-community-forum

Mayor Jorge Elorza and the American Planning Association of Rhode Island invite you to a community conversation about the future of the 6-10 Connector, featuring a discussion with three national experts who have experience with similar highway projects. This event is free and open to the public.

A Community Conversation About the Future of the 6-10 Connector
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – 6-8pm
Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street, Providence
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City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission Public Hearing – Today, January 4, 2016

From the City of Providence:


City of Providence Draft Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) Submission available for public review

square-p-01On Monday, January 4, 2016 at 5:30pm, the City of Providence Department of Planning and Development will host a public hearing allowing the general public an opportunity to comment on the municipality’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025.

A draft of the City’s full Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) submission for federal fiscal years (FFY) 2017 – 2025 is available for viewing at the front desk of the Department of Planning and Development at 444 Westminster Street, 3rd floor, or online.

The municipality’s TIP submission is a list of transportation projects that are intended to be considered by the State of Rhode Island for implementation using United States Department of Transportation funds. For a transportation project to utilize federal funds it must be included in the TIP. A project’s inclusion in the TIP is a critical step, but it does not represent an allocation of funds, obligation to fund, or grant of funds. Additional information on the TIP process can be found here.

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Providence Planning Department Neighborhood Planning Survey

From the City of Providence Department of Planning & Development:


square-p-01From 2007-2012, the Department of Planning and Development conducted extensive community outreach as part of the Providence Tomorrow neighborhood planning process. The neighborhood action plans were an important result of that process.

As several years have now passed, we feel that it is important to update the action plans for each neighborhood to make sure that they reflect current goals and issues. These documents will serve as a central repository for all planning-related issues, containing a prioritized list of issues and opportunities specific to each neighborhood including those pertaining to redevelopment, crosswalks and sidewalks, nuisance properties, parks and playgrounds, zoning, parking, schools, public transportation, drainage, historic preservation, and business needs, among many others.

Once the action items are updated to reflect current needs and goals, the Department of Planning + Development will work to identify funding to complete specific projects, build on opportunities that exist, and resolve other issues as needed.

Neighborhood Planning Survey: English | Español
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CNU New England streetcar discussion – June 10, 2015

streetcar-empire

From CNU New England:


Streetcar Revival: Providence, New England, and lessons learned from the World’s Best Transit City

Wednesday, June 10 | 5pm – 7pm
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence, RI

Join CNU New England for a discussion of the Providence Streetcar project as well as insights from world-class transit systems. Our conversation will explore the potential impacts to Providence, the unique opportunities and challenges for streetcars in New England’s towns and cities, and lessons learned from cities across the world.

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WPRI: Major life-sciences complex proposed for 195 land

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Life-sciences complex proposed for Parcels 22 and 25. Image from Google Maps.

Two private developers – Wexford Science & Technology LLC and CV Properties LLC – submitted a proposal last week to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission seeking approval for a million-square-foot-plus multi-use project on parcel 22 and parcel 25 of the vacant former highway land, WPRI.com confirmed Wednesday.

“It is a major life sciences complex that includes lab space, academic research space, a hotel with meeting space and residential and retail components,” Eric Cote, a spokesman for CV Properties, told WPRI.com.

“It is a very large proposed complex,” he said. “The size that it may ultimately be will depend on our discussions with the 195 Commission, so it could change, but it’s currently envisioned as a project in excess of 1 million square feet.


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News & Notes

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Chattanooga, Tennessee. Photo (cc) Dave Lawrence.

CityLab: Why Housing Is Key to Chattanooga’s Tech-Hub Ambitions

Chattanooga is aiming to build on the reputation it’s earned from its world-class broadband service. The goal is to make the city a sustainable innovation hub, showing that it’s a well-rounded city rather than a one-trick pony. Evidence of this forward-thinking strategy can be seen in an ambitious expansion of housing downtown—known locally as the City Center—which is aimed at attracting young professionals that value walkable urban cores.

The latest downtown housing effort began in 2013, three years after the city’s gigabit Internet was first introduced. The community was of course enthused by the changes they were seeing in the city. But to local policymakers, the level of housing density in downtown Chattanooga was far from ideal. Over 50,000 people showed up to work there each day, but a dearth of adequate housing prevented many of them from moving there. Over the course of several months, more than 70 local stakeholders came together to identify 22 downtown buildings that needed to be remodeled (some razed) to make room for new housing.


The Boston Globe: A new age for an old town

There have been three great ages of development in modern Boston. The first began after the Back Bay was filled in the late 19th century, a radical change that triggered a historic construction boom. The second came in the 1960s and ’70s, when a “high spine” of office towers — stretching from the financial district to the Pru — began to rise over an old town.

The third is now.

Its businesses and population on the rise, Boston is in the midst of a building spree whose enormity, pace, and geographic sweep are redefining the skyline faster than any period since the early Industrial Age.


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News & Notes

Rendering of the Boston Public Market

Project for Public Spaces: Boston’s Public Market To Be a Hub for Local Food

PPS’ public markets team has just returned from Boston and is excited to announce that it has begun creating an implementation plan for the first floor of Parcel 7, a MassDOT-owned building that is slated to house a public market. Both local residents and vendors are energized by the decision to re-purpose Parcel 7 into a marketplace that will promote regional food, support the New England economy and foster social integration.

More on Boston’s new public market, set to open in 2015 at their website.

The American Conservative: What to Do With Waterfronts?

Many city waterfronts used to be seedy industrial spaces: Dickensian areas once characterized by water trade and commerce, marked occasionally by squalor or disrepute. But as cities have changed, grown, and gentrified, our waterfronts are changing too.

Nonetheless: changes, even good changes, have consequences. Waterfront projects—be they in wealthy, well-kept communities or in run-down spaces—need a sense of scale and structure in order to foster beneficial growth.

When I wrote about Alexandria’s waterfront project, New Urbanists Peter Katz and Philip Bess both offered a wealth of ideas and tips for excellent, human-scale waterfront development. There were a lot of things we discussed that I simply didn’t have room for in my story—so here are a few “bonus” comments from the two men. They explained five specific ways to help make a waterfront a good New Urbanist space:

I think the best piece of advise in this list is the building it for locals, not tourists. Tourists like local things, but locals do not always like tourist things.


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

rezoning-002

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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City Plan Commission Meeting – June 17, 2014

City Plan Commission Meeting
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – 4:45pm
444 Westminster Street, First Floor

cpc-roundOpening Session

  • Call to Order
  • Roll Call
  • Approval of minutes from May 20th meeting – for action
  • Director’s Report

City Council Referral

1. Referral No. 3377 – Petition to abandon a portion of Broadway The petitioner is requesting to abandon a portion of the width of Broadway between Dave Gavitt Way and Greene Street adjacent to Plat 75 Lot 460 – for action

Institutional Master Plan

2. Amendment of Brown University’s Institutional Master Plan The applicant is seeking to amend the IMP to reflect the School of Engineering’s expansion, property acquisitions, rehabilitation of the South Street Power Station, changes to parking and improvements to Thayer Street – for action

Public Hearing

PROVIDENCE TOMORROW – The Comprehensive Plan 3. Referral No. 3377 – Changes to the Comprehensive Plan Changes proposed include technical changes based on comments received from statewide planning and changes to the future land use map. Public comment will be taken – for action

Re:Zoning Providence

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

Adjournment

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