Grow Smart Rhode Island
Smart Growth e-Briefs
  Monthly Briefs from Grow Smart Rhode Island July 2003  

This Month

Affordable Housing Update

Grow Smart Earns Major Grant

New Fire Rules Shouldn't Weaken Rehab Code

Smart City Radio Available on Public Radio

Brownfield Clean-up Fund Gets $3 Million Grant

Economic-Environmental Partnership Conference - 7/17

Smart Growth Zoning Codes

Affordable Housing Update

The General Assembly adjourned in the early hours of July 3 without revising the Low and Moderate Income Housing Act. Grow Smart Rhode Island had supported a position of "mend it, not end it".

A "compromise" bill which incorporates language developed by Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy and a group of stakeholders, including Grow Smart, as well as provisions developed by Senator John Celona's committee passed the House around 10 pm on the final evening but was never introduced on the Senate floor. The legislation would have balanced the need for greater control by local governments with the need to encourage the creation of additional affordable housing.

However, there is still a chance that the Senate could take up the issue if it reconvenes as expected to override the Governor's promised veto of the state budget.

Housing Resources & Links

House Bill H6615

Senate Bill 300

Statewide Housing Action Coalition

RI Housing Resources Commission

Brookings Symposium speech on relationship between affordable housing & growth management

Affordable Housing Design Advisor

   Dear John,

Welcome to another issue of "Smart Growth e-Briefs", a monthly update of the latest happenings in the smart growth movement. Readers are invited to forward items or suggestions for future material. Click here

  • Grow Smart Earns Major Grant
  •   The Jesse B. Cox Charitable Trust has awarded Grow Smart Rhode Island a two-year grant totaling $100,000.00. The grant will support Grow Smart's policy reform activities. Among other things, Grow Smart will work for a more smart growth-oriented economic development strategy, a policy of targeted state investments for designated growth centers, new incentives for redeveloping vacant and abandonned property - including brownfields, affordable housing, aggressive land conservation and an update of our Candidates Briefing Book for 2004 legislative candidates.

    While this grant represents a significant boost to Grow Smart, the need for additional fundraising among foundations, corporations and individuals remains critical to the continued success of the smart growth movement in Rhode Island.

    See Who Else is Contributing to Grow Smart

  • New Fire Rules Shouldn't Weaken Rehab Code
  •   According to Thomas B. Coffey, Esq. and George S. Farrell, the gains that were achieved through Rhode Island's recent adoption of its rehab code will not be negatively impacted by the new fire rules currently being finalized for adoption. Tom serves as Executive Director of the RI State Fire Board, Executive Secretary of the RI State Rehabilitation Board and Legal Counsel to the State Building Commission. George is Providence's Deputy Fire Marshall, Chairman of the RI State Fire Board and Chairman of the RI Joint Rehab Board of Appeals. The two made a detailed presentation to the Grow Smart Board of Directors at its June 25 meeting.

    RI State Rehab Code

    RI State Fire Code

  • Smart City Radio Available on Public Radio
  •   Smart City is a weekly, hour-long public radio talk show that takes an in-depth look at urban life, the people, places, ideas and trends shaping cities. Host Carol Coletta talks with national and international public policy experts, elected officials, economists, business leaders, artists, developers, planners and others for a penetrating discussion of urban issues. "Smart City" is a nationally-underwritten program, free to public radio stations.

    Want to hear "Smart City" in Rhode Island? Email your public radio station and tell the program director you'd like to hear Smart City in our area.

    Listen to archived shows anytime on-line

    Email a request to WRNI

    Email a request to WGBH

  • Brownfield Clean-up Fund Gets $3 Million Grant
  •   The U.S. EPA awarded the Rhode Island Economic Develoment Corporation a $3 million grant to further capitalize its Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund. The money is available to applicants in the form of low- interest loans to help assess, clean and redevelop abandoned, contaminated parcels known as Brownfields.

    Nationwide, Brownfields assistance has leveraged more than $4.6 billion in private investment, helped create more than 20,000 jobs and has resulted in the assessment of more than 4,000 properties. EPA estimates that every acre of reclaimed Brownfields saves 4.5 acres of greenspace and every greenspace created, on average, has doubled the value of surrounding properties.

    Understanding Brownfields / Apply for Financial Assistance

    Citizens Guide to Brownfields

  • Economic-Environmental Partnership Conference - 7/17
  •   Grow Smart Rhode Island has teamed up with the Rhode Island Chapter of the Enviromental Business Council of New England to convene a forum entitled Economic-Environmental Partnerships for Smartgrowth: Shaping a New State Agenda.

    Come meet the directors of Rhode Island's principal economic development and environmental regulatory agencies and participate in an interactive moderated discussion.

    Click Here for Details and to Register

  • Smart Growth Zoning Codes
  •   Communities throughout North America are calling for development that creates humanscale neighborhoods and not "garage-scape" subdivisions. Unfortunately, many local governments' zoning codes are actually standing in the way of the type of development that residents want.

    Based on research of more than 150 smart growth zoning codes from across the nation, this guidebook helps planners design a zoning code that encourages the construction of walkable, mixed use neighborhoods and the revitalization of existing places.

    Learn More

  • If You Appreciate Our Work ...
  •    ... why not make a modest contribution. Grow Smart Rhode Island is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization representing a broad coalition of interests dedicated to reversing the negative impacts of sprawl and urban disinvestment. We depend on tax-deductible contributions from organizations and concerned individuals to carry out the fight for better-managed growth, a strong, sustainable economy, a healthy environment and a just society for all Rhode Islanders.

    Please consider a donation of $30, $50, $100, $500, $1000 or whatever is right for your budget. We'll send a written tax-deductible receipt for your records. Simply click on the credit card below. Thank you.

    Download our printed form and mail in

    See Who's Contributing to Grow Smart

    visit our site

    Scott Wolf - Executive Director

    Sheila Brush - Program Director

    John Flaherty - Director of Research & Public Information

    phone: 401-273-5711

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