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eltron

The Providence Development Corporation

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Wow. This bill will provide sweeping powers to a new quasi-governmental agency that would essentially be applied to the area discussed in the Providence 2020 study-Narragansett Landing to the Promenade, including all of the route 195 land.

Think Capitol Center Commission, but even more powerful. no zoning, no height restrictions, power to implement impact fees and tax increment financing. Sounds potentially great, but scary.

Anyway, here it is:

http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Billtext/Bill...ext05/S0902.pdf

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I can remeber Cianci and the state fueding over who would have control and power over the land that will open up when Rt 195 is moved. Have the city and state kissed and made up.

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I can remeber Cianci and the state fueding over who would have control and power over the land that will open up when Rt 195 is moved. Have the city and state kissed and made up.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I dunno. I expect there is a big power play going on... the city wants the control, and so does the state. Both have a lot to gain or lose in the deal. If this were not the state capital, but like Warwick, the state might not care as much. As far as I know, though, the land that I-195 will give up is pretty much spoken for, it is just a matter of going through the motions of a bid and review process. The state has one plan, and the city has another... I dont know if this new agency will really resolve anything. I'd be interested to see who is on the board.

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Whoa. I stand corrected. Check out these two far-reaching powers:

(d) To acquire any land, or any interest therein, by the exercise of the power of eminent domain.

(p) To acquire or condemn certain state-owned property declared surplus by the department of transportation after construction and demolition of interstate route 195.

Does anyone know if this made it into law yet?

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well what exactly are the differences in what the state wants to do with the land compared to the city (sorry I haven't been following this like the hardcore Urbanplaneteer that i am). and are any renderings available?

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There is neighborhood resistance building to these bills, centered around the lack of public inclusion in the introduction of a very powerful development agency.

The 2006 bills are H 7356 or S 2458.

The board consists of 13 voting and 4 non-voting members. 7 of the voting members are from the Providence Redevelopment Agency, which I presume the mayor controls appointments to. Two of the seats are picked from nominations by the Providence Plan and the Chamber of Commerce. Two seats are appointed by the Governor, and two are reserved for a Providence House and Senate member. [watch this space for a separation of powers battle!]

The non-voting seats are representatives from major state agencies: DEM, DOT, CRMC, and EDC.

As was pointed out previously, the Corporation would be able to acquire real estate, exercise eminent domain, and redevelop state properties.

As you can see, there is no explicit role for community or neighborhood representation (voting or nonvoting) in the Corporation, though the bills specify that the meetings and records will be open.

There is an analysis of this Development Corp versus the East Providence Waterfront agency which is floating around - I will try to get my paws on it.

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This is scary.. Too much gov involvement..

Take a look at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. They do wonders up there, and have WAY more power than this agency will ever have...

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As you can see, there is no explicit role for community or neighborhood representation (voting or nonvoting) in the Corporation...

I know I'm going to rile some folks up here, but is that such a bad thing? Extensive public involvement seems to be a recipe for paralysis. I can't think of other areas I've lived where similar Development Agencies had direct democracy components to them... As has been pointed out, look at Boston and New York, which have had some pretty powerful organizations. These groups are usually responsive to political and public pressure (look at the Ground Zero mess in NY), but without direct public input other than public sessions and comment meetings.

Obviously, there are people here infinitely more knowledgable than I am... What's the norm for such organizations?

- Garris

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I have seen the neighborhood analysis of the PDC bill and will try to contact the author to point out some errors in the analysis. I will also ask my IT people to put it on our web page so you can look at it. I will add our comments where we think their analysis is wrong. The fact of the matter is that the Providence Redevelopment Agency has all the powers that are in the PDC bill except for three distinct powers. First, the PRA can not clear title to state owned land by condemning against the state. Second, the PRA can not be a subsidary of the RI Economic Develoment Corporation. Third, the bill would allow the PDC to use eminent domain if a property is environmentally blighted with out having to prove all the other blight and arrestted development requirements.

This bill was developed as the result of a suggestion by the RIEDC so that Providence and East Providence had virtually the same powers at the top of the bay. It was their view that this would allow reasonable and coordinated development. It was also their view that by allwong the PDC to take the 195 land by eminent domain the title would be clear and developement could happen in a reasonable time frame. The city and the state are not fighting about the land and who gets it. There are so many controls and limtations placed by federal regulation, state regulation and local regulation that require agreement on how the land will be developed. The big issue is how title to the land will be cleared.

The city thinks the bill makes sense because it allows an easy way to clear title. However, if the bill doesn't pass we aren't concerned because there are other ways to clear title and to get the land developed.

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Take a look at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. They do wonders up there, and have WAY more power than this agency will ever have...

I know I'm going to rile some folks up here, but is that such a bad thing? Extensive public involvement seems to be a recipe for paralysis. I can't think of other areas I've lived where similar Development Agencies had direct democracy components to them...

The BRA may not have direct public involvement as so far as people sitting on it's board as neighbourhood advocates, but believe you me, the public does have power over the BRA. There's a project to develop land in Fort Point across from the Post Office that was completely redesigned (less dense, less tall) due to public involvement (this in a neighbourhood that for all intents and purposes, does not exist yet).

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