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2010 General Assembly highlights which impact smart growth agenda

Twilight State House

State House Photo (cc) Mr. Duck.

Advances for transfer of development rights (TDR), transportation, housing; Setback for community comprehensive planning reform

Rhode Island lawmakers adjourned for the year at 4:10 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2010. The following are highlights of bills that have an impact on community & economic development and quality of place.

Planning/Land Development

H-7588 (Representative Carter)
This Act increases the effectiveness of existing TRANSFER OF DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS (TDR) legislation for the Town of North Kingstown and supports the Town of Exeter in establishing its own TDR ordinance. Grow Smart supported this legislation with the following written testimony.
[Passed]

S-2901 (Senator Tassoni)
This Act would have amended EXISTING LAWS ON STATEWIDE PLANNING and provided additional flexibility and efficiencies to the process of updating municipal comprehensive plans. Grow Smart supported this legislation with the following written testimony.
[Failed]

H-7533 (Representative Newberry)
This Act would have repealed “THE RI LAND DEVELOPMENT & SUBDIVISION REVIEW ENABLING ACT OF 1992. Grow Smart opposed this legislation with the following written testimony.
[Failed]

Transportation

S-2744 (Senator DiPalma),
H-7734 (Representatives Handy, Ajello, Rice M, Sullivan)
This Act would have created the RHODE ISLAND HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE & PUBLIC TRANSIT TRUST to fund highway maintenance, commuter rail operations and maintenance, enhancing and expanding existing transit services, and for the upkeep, maintenance and repair of local roads and bridges. View oral testimony by Grow Smart and other members of the Coalition for Transportation Choices (CTC) on YouTube.
[Failed]

S-3023 (Senators Connors, Miller)
This CTC supported Resolution created a SPECIAL SENATE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. It is expected that the study commission will convene in the fall and report its findings in time to make a second attempt at establishing a RHODE ISLAND HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE AND PUBLIC TRANSIT TRUST FUND in the next legislative session.
[Passed]

S- 2241 (Senators Miller, C Levesque, and Connors),
H-7497 (Reps. Walsh, Handy, Ferri, Ruggiero, Rice M.)
JOINT RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND MEMBERS OF THE RHODE ISLAND CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO CO-SPONSOR, SUPPORT, AND VOTE IN FAVOR OF DESIGNATED PENDING LEGISLATION, another CTC backed measure.
[Passed]

Housing

H-7397

(Representative Watson)
(Article 1, p.4) The Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) was funded at $1.5 million, despite Governor Carcieri’s earlier proposal to eliminate its funding entirely. NOP is Rhode Island’s most critical program for ending homelessness and developing affordable housing. Grow Smart supported continued funding of this vital investment through HousingWorks RI.

Bonds

H-7397 (Representative Watson)
Article 5 of the House Budget Bill authorizes Bond Referendum Questions for the November Ballot. Among them are proposals for an $84.7 million Transportation Bond (roads, bridges & transit) and a $14.7 million Open Space & Recreation Bond to acquire land at Rocky Point in Warwick, the former Shooter’s property on the Providence Waterfront and for improvements to Fort Adams State Park in Newport.
[Passed]

Grow Smart will be deciding shortly whether to endorse either or both of these bond referenda.

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