Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities August 2005

Smart Growth Construction
Heritage Place
A model mixed-use design project developed by the nonprofit Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation (WNDC) nears completion

  ▪ 43 residential units
  ▪ Rents $180-$850/month
  ▪ 11.5k sf ground-floor commercial     and neighborhood retail
  ▪ 3k sf for home-based businesses
  ▪ 1,500 sf community center
  ▪ Architect: O'Hearne Associates

More about Heritage Place


Grow Smart Board of Directors

Michael F. Ryan

Chairman of the Board

Susan Arnold
William Baldwin
S. James Busam
Joseph Caffey
Robert L. Carothers
Arnold Chace
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
Peter Damon
Stephen J. Farrell
Thomas E. Freeman
J. Joseph Garrahy
John R. Gowell, Jr.
Stephen Hamblett
Robert Harding
Michael S. Hudner
Stanley J. Kanter
Howard M. Kilguss
Thomas A. Lawson
Dennis Langley
James Leach
Roger Mandle
Rev. James C. Miller
Thomas V. Moses
George Nee
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Deming Sherman
Merrill Sherman
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Ranne Warner
Sandra Whitehouse
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

Board Listing with Affilliation

This Month's
e-Brief Sponsor

The National Brownfield Association is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the responsible redevelopment of brownfields. Our goal is to advance the international brownfield market through education, information, events and the creation of Chapters that allow redevelopment specialists from the public and private sector to exchange information at the local level.

Become an e-Brief Sponsor

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Grow Smart Staff

Scott Wolf

Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

John Flaherty

Director of Research & Communications

Lynn Burns

Office Manager / Executive Assistant

Dorothy Dauray

Office Assistant

Linsey Cameron

Research Assistant

Dear John,

You're among the 2,630 opinion leaders, state & local officials, development professionals, journalists and visionary citizens getting the latest news, happenings and trends in the smart growth movement from Grow Smart Rhode Island.

  • Flynn to become Rhode Island's top planning official
  • Noreen Shawcross also named to lead new Office of Housing and Community Development within Planning Division

    Having announced last February that he was elevating planning to "division" status within state government, Governor Carcieri recently appointed Kevin M. Flynn, Cranston's longtime planning director, to lead the Planning Division.

    Flynn, a 25-year veteran planner who has served on Grow Smart's Advisory Council since its founding in 1998, will be responsible for strengthening the state's planning and coordinating role on issues related to housing, land-use, energy and transportation. The existing Statewide Planning Program, headed by John O'Brien, is a key part of the new Planning Division. [Read More]

    As part of a larger strategy to better coordinate planning with programs to address the critical lack of affordable housing statewide, the Governor also named Noreen W. Shawcross as chief of the newly created Office of Housing and Community Development. Shawcross, most recently Executive Director of the RI Coalition for the Homeless, will report to Flynn and oversee everything from efforts to end homelessness to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. She will also staff the state's Housing Resources Commission. [Read More]

  • Legislative and Policy Wrap-Up 2005
  • Grow Smart presents the following summary of legislative and/or policy efforts relating to growth and development issues from the 2005 legislative season. Click on the links below to learn more about what happened.

    Economic Development

    Housing Affordability


    Open Space

    Land Use Training for Municipalities

    Property Tax Reform

  • Grow Smart to speak out on more projects
  • Board signals its support to use increased public commentary as "teachable moments" for smart growth principles

    Although it reaffirmed that most local land use decisions should be made primarily by citizens working through their local elected officials and boards, the Grow Smart Board of Directors recently amended its guidelines for determining when and how Grow Smart might take a stand on projects of statewide or regional significance.

    The move reflects the Board's recommendation to increase the use of public commentary, such as Grow Smart's recent advocacy regarding the siting of a new State Police headquarters, as a way to broaden understanding of the real life applications of smart growth principles. Still, with limited staff and financial resources, Grow Smart expects to use the new guidelines very strategically to identify selected cases where a proposed project of regional or statewide significance very clearly exemplifies or violates smart growth principles.

    View the Guidelines

  • Restoring integrity of tax credit program a top priority
  • Program is credited with boosting the economy, preserving community character and expanding housing options across all price categories

    The rehabilitation of historic buildings that has taken place throughout Rhode Island since the Historic Preservation Investment Tax Credit program became law in 2002 has earned it recognition as one of the most effective statewide economic development and neighborhood revitalization tools in decades.

    Indeed, the results of a study released by Grow Smart earlier this year revealed that each $1 of state tax credit investment leverages $5.47 in total economic output for Rhode Island. That's why Grow Smart has strongly defended the tax credit program against measures that would jeopardize its effectiveness.

    While a wholesale reduction in the program was pre-empted this legislative session, a retroactive "processing fee" was imposed as a last minute proposal to plug a $3.5 million state budget deficit. In response, Grow Smart has convened a group of interested parties to discuss strategies for averting the unexpected costs that may jeopardize a number of pending projects, such as the nonprofit

    Rau Fasterner mill redevelopment project in Providence.

  • Aquidneck Island nets EPA smart growth grant
  • Aquidneck Island is one of only five communities nationwide selected by the EPA to receive technical assistance from a team of private sector national experts in planning for future growth.

    The application by the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC) was selected in a competitive process initiated earlier this year when the EPA first offered its Smart Growth implementation assistance program. Grow Smart promoted the opportunity in its April e-Brief

    The technical assistance will help the island communities align their zoning codes and ordinances with a recently completed vision for protecting environmental quality by promoting future growth in established centers.

    Read More

  • New help for governors implementing smart growth
  • Former Governors Whitman and Glendenning will spearhead the Governors’ Institute on Community Design

    Responding to a growing number of requests from states for assistance in managing growth, three former governors with a long history of promoting smarter growth-- Republican Christie Todd- Whitman (NJ), Democrat Parris Glendenning (MD) and Independent Angus King (ME) -- joined the U.S. EPA and the National Endowment for the Arts in announcing a new Governors' Institute on Community Design. The Institute is intended to support governors' leadership in good community design and sound planning.

    The Institute will hold a series of workshops each year that will pair governors and their cabinet secretaries with top planning experts and practitioners to address specific challenges in state and regional land use. Christie Whitman, former EPA administrator and governor of New Jersey, said the program addresses a key question for sustainability: "How do we continue to grow in a way that will allow us to continue to grow?"

    More about the Governors' Institute for Community Design

  • Award nominations sought
  • The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association is seeking nominations for its 2005 Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding planning achievements over the past year in Rhode Island. Awardees will be honored at APA's New England Planning Conference, November 9-10, 2005, in Newport, RI, and again at the Annual Awards Dinner in early 2006.

    The award categories are: "Current Topic: Housing Choice and Affordability", "Outstanding Comprehensive Planning Project", "Outstanding Plan Implementation", "Student Project Award", "Journalism Award", "Paul Davidoff Award for Social Commitment to Advocacy Planning", "Distinguished Leadership Award", and "President's Distinguished Service Award". The deadline for submittal is September 15th.

    Click here to access a nomination form

  • Sunday, September 11

    Hold a gathering in your neighborhood to meet and welcome new neighbors and rekindle old friendships

    Thursday, September 15

    Application deadline for New England Grassroots Environment Fund grant - for November award cycle.
    NEGEF is a small grants program designed to foster New England-based grassroots environmental initiatives. It provides small grants of up to $2,500 to fuel local activism that results in broader community involvement in projects that address a wide range of environmental issues and opportunities.

    Wednesday, September 21 or

    Thursday, September 22 (5:00p - 8:30p)
    Presented by Grow Smart and other partnering organizations, these workshops are intended to help municipal officials understand the purpose of housing trust funds and community housing land trusts. Registration and supper are complimentary. Registration is required.
    Warwick and Newport

    Saturday, September 24

    Run, paddle and cycle competition from Worcester, MA to Pawtucket, RI. A project of the Blackstone River Valley CorridorKeepers - dedicated to preserving the heritage and culture of the region.

  • Growth and development in the news
  • Eminent Domain

    New England


    Aquidneck Island








    East Greenwich






    North Kingstown

    North Smithfield




    Condos on top, music below is the right mix for Theater Building




    South Kingstown



    West Warwick


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