Grow Smart Rhode Island
Smart Growth e-Briefs
  News and Tools for People Shaping Our Communities March 2004  

This Month

Grow Smart announces its legislative & policy agenda

Keynote speaker to link land conservation, affordable housing

The connection between RI's land use & water resources

Rehab Code Update

Partner Profile

Smart Stuff

New resource helps communities plan commercial development


Scholarships available for National Preservation Conference

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
Louise Durfee
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
Frederick Lippitt
Roger Mandle
Rev. James C. Miller
George Nee
B. Michael Rauh, Jr.
Gary Sasse
Richard Schartner
Deming Sherman
Merrill Sherman
Curt Spalding
James F. Twaddell
Sandra Whitehouse
Frederick C. Williamson
W. Edward Wood

Board Listing with Affiliation (pdf)


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

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Read Today's
Smart Growth

   Dear John,

You're among the 1,812 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.

  • Grow Smart announces its legislative & policy agenda

    From economic development to neighborhood revitalization, open space protection, affordable housing, property tax reform and transportation, Grow Smart sets its agenda with the Legislature and the Administration on a number of initiatives to strengthen our community.

    According to Grow Smart executive director, Scott Wolf, "We aim to raise the awareness of the public and a broad spectrum of governmental and community leaders about the importance of encouraging planned, sustainable economic and residential development in our urban, town and village centers while protecting Rhode Island's desirable quality of life." The agenda is a result of a thorough analysis of smart growth issues examined as part of Grow Smart's landmark Costs of Sprawl report (PDF 1253 kb).

    Review Grow Smart's legislative & policy agenda

  • Keynote speaker to link land conservation, affordable housing
  •    For 15 years the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) has been a national pioneer in the conservation of open space AND the development of affordable housing. VHCB has supported reinvestment in older housing in small town and village centers and revitalizing downtown neighborhoods where residents can walk to services. They have successfully created 6,419 units of affordable housing while conserving 328,350 acres of open space, including agricultural and recreational lands.

    On Saturday, March 20 Gus Selig, VHCB executive director, will discuss their success in a keynote presentation to the RI Land & Water Conservation Summit being held at North Kingstown High School. Presented by the RI Land Trust Council, the RI Rivers Council and the RI Association of Conservation Commissions, there will be 21 workshops covering a wide range of conservation topics.

    Click here for conference and registration materials

  • The connection between RI's land use & water resources
  •    The Rhode Island Water Resources Board's Water Allocation Program is casting new attention on the connection between land use and water resources. The first phase of the planning process is now wrapping up with recommendations to the Water Resources Board.

    One of the more significant findings of the subcommittee studying the social, economic and environmental impacts of water is the urgent need for the state to partner with municipalities in establishing smart growth land use practices to protect the diminishing quality and quantity of water supplies. The next phase of the Water Allocation Program calls for improving information about stream flow, water use and availability and working with communities to better understand how water availability will impact their plans for growth and economic development.

    Read the Impact Analysis Report for the Water Allocation Program (PDF)

  • Rehab Code Update

    Last month Grow Smart reported that despite assurances by some state officials, a number of developers and community revitalization advocates remained concerned that the new fire safety laws that went into effect February 20th might compromise the viability and usefulness of the 2002 REHAB CODE.

    Grow Smart therefore convened a meeting on February 10th with state building code and fire safety officials, development professionals and concerned advocates to better understand the impact of the new fire safety laws on the Rehab Code.

    See who participated and read about the outcome

  • Partner Profile

    RI Chapter of the American Planning Association:
    As the local association of professional planners, RIAPA's mission is to positively shape the planning profession by providing a forum for the understanding and application of sound planning principles in Rhode Island.

    Dan Baudouin of the Providence Foundation was recently elected chapter President and will oversee the implementation of the Chapter's 2004-2007 Work Plan that was formulated under the leadership of Immediate Past President Marilyn Cohen. Among the highest priority goals is to increase the Chapter's legislative efforts, develop a set of position papers that address Rhode Island's most important planning and development issues and to reinvigorate networking opportunities with fellow planners and provide information about projects and programs relevant to Rhode Island and the planning profession.

    RIAPA has collaborated with Grow Smart on several initiaves including our municipal land-use training program and the development of progressive policies for housing, growth centers and vacant lots.

    Visit their website

  • Smart Stuff

    Each month Grow Smart highlights a sampling of policy developments or other creative smart growth initiatives being implemented around Rhode Island and beyond. Do you have a story to tell? (click here to share it with us)

    Central Falls
    -Mixed use redevelopment proposed Roosevelt Avenue mill building
    -City zoners approve artists' plan for conversion of former mill

    East Greenwich
    -Transit-oriented development proposed with potential for affordable housing

    -Town amends comprehensive plan with new strategy for affordable housing

    -Ashton Mill conversion in high gear

  • New resource helps communities plan commercial development

    Better Models for Commercial Development is a new publication that shows how communities can improve the design and siting of new commercial development. Published by The Conservation Fund in partnership with the The Planning Commissioners Journal and The Smart Growth Network, this booklet was written for elected officials, planning commissioners, developers and interested citizens around the country. Better Models shows how new commercial development can be made more attractive, more efficient and more profitable. $15, includes shipping & handling.

    -Read more about it
    -Download an order form (PDF)

  •    March 3-11
    Connecting and Completing Downcity: A Design Charette
    The City of Providence, the Providence Foundation and Cornish Associates are sponsoring a series of design charettes with nationally acclaimed New Urban architect Andres Duany. For more information, email Francis Scire or call him at 401.421.0254.

    March 4, 11, 18
    Making Good Land Use Decisions
    Municipal training workshop for officials in Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton. sponsored by Grow Smart.
    Note: Officials who have attended training in the past and want to attend a make-up session can do so free of charge. If space permits, new registrants from other communities will also be welcome.

    Saturday March 13 (1:00p - 3:00p)
    Preservation & Affordable Housing:
    Preserve Rhode Island presents a panel discussion and tour. 109 Melrose St.

    Saturday March 13 (10:00a)
    History in You Own Backyard:
    The Preservation Society of Newport County hosts an illustrated lecture on small gardens in America from the colonial period to the early 20th Century.

    Saturday March 20 (9:00a - 4:00p)
    RI Land & Water Conservation Summit:
    Sponsored by the RI Land Trust Council, the RI Rivers Council and the RI Association of Conservation Commissions. Learn about preserving land, developing boards or protecting your drinking water, as you choose from 21 different mini-workshops at this special one-day conference. Keynote speaker Gus Seelig shares the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board's successes with investing in land conservation and affordable housing.
    North Kingstown

    Submit a "March/April Event" for next month's e-brief by clicking here

  • Scholarships available for National Preservation Conference

    Applications are now available for scholarships to attend the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Annual Conference being held September 28 - October 3, 2004 in Louisville, KY. The Diversity Scholarship Program formerly known as the Emerging Preservation Leaders (EPL) Program seeks to increase the diversity of participants at the National Preservation Conference and in the preservation movement. The program provides financial assistance (scholarships) to help community and cultural leaders, students and other professionals from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds participate in the conference.

    Participants will gain knowledge and tools to strengthen their ability to preserve historic places and revitalize their communities through plenary, educational and field sessions, and discussion groups. Scholarship awards will pay for registration and accommodation costs.

    Learn more



    Grow Smart Rhode Island
    345 South Main Street
    Providence RI 02903

    phone: 401-273-5711

    Grow Smart Rhode Island · 345 South Main Street · Providence · RI · 02876

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