Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities February 2006

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Smart Growth Interrupted

Uncertainty over the future of RI's Historic Tax Credit Program has already claimed its first victim - a prominent multi-million dollar redevelopment project on the Pawtucket-Central Falls line.

Urban Smart Growth, LLC

just days ago called off plans to purchase and redevelop the Paramount Cards mill complex. The company is already redeveloping Pawtucket's Hope Webbing mill into a mix of commercial, residential and retail uses and is overseeing major rehab projects in Providence and North Providence. As a result of the uncertainty, they are shifting their attention south to North Carolina where that state's leadership is expressing growing enthusiasm for historic tax credit incentives.

Read PBN's editorial about RI's Historic Tax Credit Program


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Dear John,

You're among the 2,506 civic 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.

Foward to a friend

  • Grow Smart to host statewide conference May 11th
  • Program will focus on specific tools for implementing goals of new State Land Use Plan, including mixed-use growth centers and land conservation

    With the support of several sponsors, Grow Smart will present a statewide conference in Providence on Thursday, May 11, 2006 to help jump start the implementation of the state's soon-to-be-adopted State Land Use Policies & Plan. The plan, which places a new and more urgent emphasis on the need for smarter growth, is expected to be adopted by the State Planning Council later this Spring.

    The conference will be geared to citizens serving on municipal boards and commissions, state officials, builders and developers as well as architects, engineers, consultants and nonprofit interest groups. Topics will include an overview of development trends in Rhode Island, the new State Land Use Plan's proposed responses to these trends and the latest best practice tools for managing growth in a way that builds upon our existing assets, safeguards our environment and strengthens our economic competitiveness.

    Take a brief survey to help us shape the conference agenda

  • Public hearings set for new statewide land use plan
  • The Rhode Island State Planning Council has announced a series of workshops and public hearings regarding the adoption of a draft Rhode Island State Land Use Policies and Plan.

    Advocates for smarter growth will find reason to be encouraged by, among other things, the plan's renewed emphasis on goals and strategies to direct future growth to locally designated "growth centers" with existing or planned infrastructure and access to public transit.

    Four (4) workshops and public hearings will take place in various parts of the state beginning February 27th and ending on March 2nd. Click HERE for details.

  • Author to keynote 3rd Annual Land & Water Summit
  • Jeffrey C. Milder, author of Practical Ecology for Planners, Developers, and Citizens, to discuss how smart development can support conservation

    The 3rd Annual Land & Water Conservation Summit will take place at URI on Saturday, March 11, 2006. This day-long conference will provide Land Trust & Watershed Council Board Members, staff, volunteers, municipal commission members and others interested in land and watershed conservation with the information, skills, and connections needed to be most effective.

    More than 30 workshops will be offered covering topics such as: habitat restoration, conservation easements, appraisals, and maintaining working landscapes on protected lands.

    Early Registration ends February 17th. Click HERE for more details.

  • Preservation conference to focus on waterfront
  • Outlooks and Opportunities on the Waterfront" is the theme of the 21st Annual Rhode Island Historic Preservation Conference, which takes place April 8th in Pawtuxet Village.

    The day-long conference will offer a variety of workshops, lectures, tours, and discussions. Individual sessions include walking tours of Pawtuxet and Edgewood neighborhoods; a showcase of recent preservation tax credit projects; a panel about the visual language of the waterfront; a presentation of stereoscopic 3-D images of 19th-century Rhode Island; discussions about waterfront recreation, public access, and private development; a boat tour of upper Narragansett Bay; and a bus tour of the industrial empire of the Sprague and Knight families.

    More about the conference

  • Could smart growth tip the next Presidential election?
  • Political strategists take note as Virginia’s new governor tackles sprawl

    Newly elected Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine aims to reduce traffic by empowering local governments to direct development to existing cities and towns.

    Mr. Kaine’s campaign emphasized the causes and consequences of rampant, haphazard development, and his victory has prompted strategists in both parties to conclude that the politics of growth could be a crucial factor in a presidential election, perhaps as early as 2008.

    Read More

  • Thursday, February 23 (8:30p - 4:30p)

    Adaptive Reuse & Historic Tax Credits. A daylong seminar presented by Lorman Educational Services and featuring a panel of experts including Grow Smart Executive Director Scott Wolf.

    Monday, February 27 (2:00p)


    Monday, February 27 (6:00p)


    Tuesday, March 28 (6:00p)


    Thursday, March 2 (6:00p)


    Saturday, March 11 (8:15a - 4:30p)

    Presented by the RI Land Trust Council and the RI Rivers Council.

    Friday, March 24 Deadline to aply for Agricultural Tourism and Direct Marketing grant assistance. Sponsored by the RI Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education.

    Tuesday, March 14 (8:00a - 5:00p)

    URI Narragansett Bay Campus

    Saturday, April 8

    Presented by the RI Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission

  • A growing market for village-style living in RI
  • Cities and small towns alike are embracing the mixed-use trend

    The return to the town square concept - small self-sufficient, walkable neighborhoods featuring mixed-use development - is becoming more attractive for its sense of community as well as its convenience and efficiency, according to local officials and developers.

    RIEDC Executive Director Michael McMahon says rising energy costs and increased traffic congestion are part of the reason, but developers have also found that a growing number of people now prefer to live within walking distance of work, shops and services. According to McMahon, "You're going to see more of a premium based on development where your car is less important."

    Several such developments are in the making in Rhode Island, including The Residences at Westin Providence, Chapel View in Cranston, Crompton Mills in West Warwick, the Pontiac Mills in Warwick and the Lonsdale Bleachery in Lincoln.

    Read More from:

  • Growth and development in the news
  • National









    East Greenwich

    Condo developers to seek council backing of zone change


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