Providence leaders blindsided by plan to cut city’s zoning oversight on 195 land

News
Salvatore Elorza_1529730971359.png.jpg

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio didn’t tell Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza or City Council President David Salvatore he plans to introduce a bill that would cut the city out of the zoning process on the former I-195 land prior to his announcement Monday night.

Speaking at the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council’s annual gathering Monday night, Ruggerio said the legislation is necessary “so the city doesn’t stand in the way of progress.” He appeared to be referring specifically proposed zoning change that would help a New York developer build a 46-story residential tower along Dyer Street.

“You might think that we would welcome a developer wanting to invest a quarter-billion dollars in our capital city, but we have done all we can to chase him away,” Ruggerio said.

Both Elorza and Salvatore said Tuesday they were unaware Ruggerio was planning to introduce a bill related to the I-195 land when the Senate reconvenes in January. The two city leaders also disputed Ruggerio’s claim that City Hall has slowed down development on the former highway land.

Elorza said it would be “unprecedented for the state to do something like this” while noting that the city has 60 construction projects under development or in the pipeline, including several in the I-195 land.

“I think anyone who’s looking at it will say that the city has been a strong partner to encourage development in our city,” he said.

Salvatore, who unlike Elorza has said he opposes a proposed zoning change that would allow for 46-story skyscraper along Dyer Street, said city leaders have reputedly proved they are “pro-growth and pro-economic development.” He said Ruggerio’s proposal would be an overreach.

“Having a predictable plan, a zoning plan, in place makes sense not only for Providence, but urban planning as a whole,” he said.

Ruggerio’s said he wants to give more authority over zoning to the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, an unelected seven-member board that is appointed by the governor with the input of the House, Senate and mayor.

Continue the discussion on Facebook

Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Providence

Download Mobile Apps from WPRI 12
DOWNLOAD APPS NOW: Apple App Store | Google Play Store
PINPOINT WEATHER // Quick Links:

Live Streaming Coverage for the Presidential Inauguration

  • Approx. 8 a.m. – NewsNation Live Coverage as President Trump leaves Washington
  • 9 a.m. – CBS News live coverage begins
  • 11 a.m. – NewsNation live coverage begins
  • 12 p.m.- Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th President of the United States
  • TBD – Inauguration parade
  • 8:30 p.m. – “Celebrating America” primetime special

Click here for a complete list of Inauguration ceremonies.

 

 

Dan Yorke State of Mind: Dan's Daily Update

DYSOM 1/14/2021: Richard Arenberg, Interim Director of the Taubman Center, Brown University

More Dan Yorke State of Mind

Don't Miss

Viewer Pa on WPRI.com

LIVE CAMS on WPRI.com

More Live Cams

Community Events & Happenings

More Community