As many Rhode Islanders know, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio introduced a bill in the late spring to remove local control over building proposals designated for state-owned land. The legislation, which eventually passed, allows proposals for 195 land to bypass the City of Providence in matters of zoning, planning, and design, leaving the I-195 Commission as the sole public overseer for all 195 land.
FPNA stands with the Providence Preservation Society, Building Bridges Providence, and many other organizations that have strongly opposed this legislation. Not only does this legislation represent an overreach on behalf of the State, eliminating the voices of cities and towns on matters related to their own development, it is retaliatory in nature, clearly serving as an attempt by the sponsor to change the rules of the game when legitimate legislative processes don’t go as desired.
Over the last two years, FPNA has opposed “spot zoning” for the Fane Tower, arguing that throwing away our Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance would undermine public processes and the very underpinnings of our democracy. Senate Bill S-0803 commits the same offense; this "spot-legislation" would be detrimental to the integrity of our public institutions. We encourage neighbors to learn about this critical issue and to speak out.