Purpose: To encourage and support quality projects that will be positive, long-term additions to our great neighborhood through a process of public discourse and expert opinion.
Community Development Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of February, April, June, September and November from 6 – 7:30pm at WBNA HQ (1560 Westminster, Providence).
OVERVIEW & Background
The Community Development Committee was formed in 1990 by neighbors, many of whom had backgrounds in architecture, urban planning, development, and historic preservation. Since then, the committee has reviewed numerous neighborhood projects, initiated studies, and influenced policy.
The CDC's objective is for the neighborhood to be a place where residents and businesses want to live, work, play, and stay. Consistent with the WBNA mission, the CDC seeks to encourage vibrant main streets with restaurants, shops, and amenities, and foster a well-maintained and attractive urban environment integrated with the best green, historic, and sustainable practices.
The CDC concentrates on the geographic area roughly bounded by Broadway to the north, West Franklin Street to the east, Cranston Street to the south, and Route 10 to the west, and focuses on the following issues: new construction, renovation and adaptive reuse, infrastructure improvement, studies and plans, zoning overlays and policy.
The committee leads a formal review process of development projects whereby it evaluates the proposed project’s context, scale, economic and social contribution, and other relevant factors (see below for review process guidelines).
Project Review PROCESS
The CDC welcomes presentations from organizations and individuals proposing development projects in the West Broadway area, and reviews and offers feedback on development proposals. We aim to ensure that projects complement the mission of the organization and comply with existing regulations and strategic plans for the area.
As the basis for its review process, the CDC takes strongly into consideration:
• Blueprint for Responsible Development in Providence’s Historic, Urban Neighborhoods
• Neighborhood endorsed and created West Side Action Plan
• WBNA Mission and Goals
• City of Providence Zoning Ordinance
• City of Providence Federal Hill and West End Neighborhood Plan
• WBNA Neighborhood Development Guidelines
• All other relevant zoning ordinances
The CDC is comprised of local residents who are well versed in architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, economic development, and the struggles and needs of the neighborhood.
CDC Action & SUPPORT
If the CDC review process results in the WBNA supporting a proposed development project, the Committee can offer the following organizational support and advocacy to that project, if needed:
- Letters of support
- Testimony at public meetings
- Independent and collaborative advocacy
- Assist project developers in preparing appropriately for project review by providing to them committee guidelines and expectations as well as a checklist of requested information that includes scale and scope of project, proposed demolition, and city commissions they expect to go before for approvals and/or variances
- Improve and streamline review process for committee members by securing more complete preliminary project information from developers for member review
- Forge stronger relationships with other Providence neighborhood groups with the purpose of sharing information and best practices and working together as a cohesive whole when addressing city-wide development issues
- Continue to work for greater transparency of process and outcome, increase outreach to the public and developers, and seek greater input from our community regarding their interests and concerns for the neighborhood
- Formalize and professionalize committee and member participation
Jason Bouchard and Amahl Harik