CPC hearing this Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017, at 4:45pm
Details of City Plan Commission Meeting
What: Public Hearing of 1292 Westminster
When: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 4:45pm
Where: 444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room (Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building)
On Tuesday, November 14, developers of 1292 Westminster Street come before the Providence City Plan Commission (CPC) seeking Preliminary Plan approval, the last stage in the City's review process before a project is allowed to move forward towards construction.
Developer Mike Lemoi is proposing a 5 story building with retail on the ground floor, 35 market rate residences, and 22 parking spaces. Lemoi recently sought and received a "dimensional adjustment" from the 4 story zoning restriction, and is now requesting a parking variance from the 43 spaces that are required as well as waivers from submission of multiple required plans including grading, drainage, landscaping, site maintenance, state approvals and others (details here).
The WBNA Community Development Committee and more than 60 neighbors are actively opposed to the 5 story height BUT NOT to the development itself. WBNA appreciates a mixed-used development with housing above and retail below, but firmly advocates that a 3 or 4 story structure is the appropriate height for this development within the context and scale of the historic district.
Most troubling is that this project sets a damaging precedent. The City's new zoning code – which allows extra stories above the height restriction – directly contradicts Historic District Commission (HDC) guidelines that require new construction to "harmonize" with the height, context and scale of the surrounding built environment, and thereby threatens the integrity of all of our city's local historic districts.
WBNA advocates for the following
- Build a building that fits the context and scale of the surrounding area and local historic district (3 or 4 stories)
- Build a building with an appropriate amount of units for the site, and such that parking does not need to be sought off-site
- Align CPC approvals with HDC guidelines such that historic districts are not compromised nor overdeveloped beyond the scope of the existing built environment
- While not relevant for Tuesday's hearing, WBNA has previously advocated to include affordable housing units (not currently regulated by the City or CPC); and to save the existing structure, build housing above, and retain the four storefronts to support local small businesses
Having a meaningful seat at our civic planning table requires an active and involved neighborhood. Please come to Tuesday's hearing to be heard, and to be engaged in a public process that not only impacts this site but will shape development of our neighborhood's main streets for years to come.