Smart Growth e-Briefs
News and Tools For People Shaping Our Communities January 2007

Thank You 2006 Supporters

Year-end Fundarising Blitz helps Grow Smart exceed revenue goal

View 2006 donors here

2006 Accomplishments


Grow Smart

Board of Directors

Deming E. Sherman

Chairman of the Board

Susan Arnold
William Baldwin
Samuel J. Bradner
Kenneth Burnett
Joseph Caffey
Robert L. Carothers
Arnold Chace
Jen Cookke
Trudy Coxe
Dennis DiPrete, P.E.
Stephen J. Farrell
J. Joseph Garrahy
John R. Gowell, Jr.
Akhil C. Gupta
Michael S. Hudner
Stanley J. Kanter
Howard M. Kilguss
Dennis Langley
James Leach
Roger Mandle
Rev. James C. Miller
Thomas V. Moses
George Nee
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Michael F. Ryan
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Pamela M. Sherrill, AIPC
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Ranne Warner
Sandra Whitehouse
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

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Display at your city or town hall, local library or place of

Grow Smart Staff

Scott Wolf

Executive Director

Sheila Brush

Director of Programs

John Flaherty

Director of Research & Communications

Leslie Denomme

Executive Assistant for Finance

Dorothy Dauray

Office Assistant

Dee Dee Lozano

Training Coordinator

Dear John,

You're among the 3,127 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.

  • RI Division of Planning releases
       Land-Use 2025 Executive Summary
  • Document summarizes major goals and strategies of new statewide plan for sustainable prosperity.

    Click Here to request a hard copy by mail.*

    Adopted April 13th 2006, Land-Use 2025 is Rhode Island's innovative new State Land-Use Plan for proactively guiding the sustainable growth and development of our 39 cities and towns over a 20-year planning horizon.

    The detailed plan lays out a comprehensive set of goals, objectives and strategies to accommodate new growth while building upon existing assets, safeguarding the environment, achieving efficiencies and strengthening economic competitiveness.

    The task ahead, of course, will be that of implementing the recommended strategies at the state and local level to achieve the plan's vision. It is hoped that this Executive Summary will help to raise stakeholder awareness of the need and opportunity for protecting and enhancing Rhode Island's 'Quailty of Place' for the benefit of all Rhode Islanders.

    View the Executive Summary as a pdf

    *If you're a state legislator or muncipal official, a copy of the Executive Summary should already be on the way.

  • Grow Smart welcomes new directors,
        expertise on Board
  • New members bring fresh perspectives from the business, development, real estate finance, engineering and planning professions

    The statewide smart growth movement begins a new year with the addition of some new faces in the Board room.

    At its December 15th meeting, the Grow Smart Rhode Island Board of Directors unanimously elected the following individuals to the board:

    Board Chair Deming Sherman praised the Grow Smart Board Development Committee's recommendations saying "the addition of these talented individuals brings new and relevant insights to the many challenges and opportunities associated with revitalizing Rhode Island's urban, town a village centers while safeguarding its natural resources and rural landscapes."

  • Workshops to focus on Conservation
       Development, Washington County    Community Planning
  • The Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative has scheduled the following workshops for the spring of 2007. All workshops and seminars have a registration fee and require advance registration.

    Community Planning in Washington County Towns - What Council Members Need to Know:

    The Washington County Regional Planning Council (WCRPC) and the Grow Smart Rhode Island Land Use Training Collaborative invite Town Council members, municipal staff who work closely with the Council and friends of the WCRPC to this special workshop.

    Conservation Development:

    An evening Workshop for architects, builders and developers, landscape architects and surveyors as well as Councils, Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions (Provided by RIDEM and Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and coordinated by the Grow Smart RI Land-Use Training Collaborative)

  • $50M Housing Bond regs drafted, posted
  • The Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission (HRC) invites you to comment on its draft regulations for the $50 million bond program, now called Building Homes Rhode Island. The notice and proposed regulations are posted online.

    The HRC is hosting public hearings on the regulations on February 8 at 12:00 noon and 6:00 p.m. at the Cranston Public Library, 140 Sockanossett Cross Road. Written comments can be submitted to Noreen Shawcross, Chief of Housing and Community Development, Housing Resources Commission, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908.

  • New tax benefits for transit commuters
  • Starting this month, employees who use pre-tax dollars to pay for transit or vanpool commuting costs can take pre-tax payroll deductions up to $110.00 per month. The deductions are available to employees whose employers offer a commuter benefit program.

    In Rhode Island, WageWorks and Commuter Check, two very popular national commuter benefits programs, are used by employers to offer these benefits.

    Here’s how WageWorks and Commuter Checks work:

    • Cover public transit, parking and vanpools
    • Employer deducts costs of your monthly pass, vanpool or parking expenses from your paycheck to give you a pre-tax paycheck deduction
    • You get pre-tax savings
    • By using pre-tax dollars to cover your commuting costs you save on those expenses
    • Employers also save on FICA and other payroll- related costs
    • With WageWorks, you also get free monthly delivery of your monthly bus or parking pass to your home
    For more information, or to discuss introducing this type of program at your workplace, call Commuter Resource RI at 1-888-88RI.

  • Eminent Domain:
       Information about Its Uses and Effect
  • Two new reports offer fresh insights and national comparisons

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a Report to Congressional Committees that examines the purposes for and extent to which eminent domain can be and has been used. It examines the process states and select localities across the country use to acquire land, including by eminent domain.

    Also a report by John D. Echeverria of the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute chronicles The Diversity of 2006 State Ballot Measures Addressing Eminent Domain for Economic Development.

    In Rhode Island:

    Grow Smart's Eminent Domain analysis - 2006 legislative session

  • CALENDAR Highlights

  • Click here to let us know if you would like your land-use/water resources related conference or workshop listed on our CommunityConnectionRI Calendar.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007 (6:00p)

    Featured speaker will be Mayor Joe Riley from Charleston, SC.
    Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

    Thurs., Jan. 25, 2007 (8:30a - 9:30p)

    The League's Annual Convention is its showcase event featuring two dozen workshops and seminars for local government officials.

    Thurs., Jan. 25, 2007 (11:00a - 12:30p)

    Landfill to Landmark: Coastal Brownfield Development Lessons Experts discuss the challenge of transforming the former landfill at Fields Point to the home of Save The Bay, and lessons learned for future coastal brownfield development. Sponsored by Save The Bay.

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Deadline to submit nominations for the 2007 Senator John H. Chafee Conservation Awards. Sponsored by the Environment Council of Rhode Island. Banquet to follow in the spring.

    Thurs., March 1, 2007 (5:30p - 8:00p)

    A conference for municipal staff, councils, boards and commissions, legislators, business leaders, major water users, water suppliers, state agencies and interested citizens. Presented by the Environmental Council of RI, Apeiron Foundation, Audubon Society, Coalition for Water Security, Grow Smart Rhode Island, RI Association of Conservation Commissions, RIDEM, RI Division of Planning, RI Water Resources Board and Save The Bay.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007 (8:30a - 4:00p)

    Presented by the The RI Land Trust Council in partnership with the RI Rivers Council. Annual conference for Land Trusts, Watershed Councils, and Conservation Commissions as well as other groups and interested citizens.

  • 'Growth & Development' in the news

  • Send us Your News We want to know what's happening in your community.


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    East Greenwich

    Brooks building is on the market

    East Providence


    Planners want state to preserve rural picnic area







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