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  • Amy Mendillo for Providence Monthly

Neighbors Fight Gano Development

As some Fox Point neighbors know, local developer Bahman Jalili is planning to build four apartment buildings, with a total of 133 apartments, on Gano Street at the intersection of Power Street, at the entrance to the Gano Park. At a November 2021 FPNA meeting at which Jalili presented early designs, neighbors expressed concerns about a potential influx of vehicles near a heavily trafficked roadway as well as a potential safety hazard at the proposed entrance to ground-level parking garage. The garage driveway, according to the developer, will be located on Power Street adjacent to the entrance to the park, where individuals and families travel to access the playing fields and community garden.

Neighbors had a second chance to express their concerns in late June at a public meeting of the City Plan Commission. After hearing testimony from traffic engineer Herman Peralta in which he claimed that the proposed development should have “a very minor impact on traffic on Gano Street,” neighbors faulted the study for collecting data during a low-volume time of year and overlooking what neighbor Scott Moran characterized as, the “lived experience” of residents who actually use the space. “It is currently impossible for two vehicles to enter and exit [from Power Street] at the same time,” he suggested to the Commission. “There is more use of the park than you can possibly know right now,” added resident Norma Anderson. Neighbor Nina Tannenwald of the Wayland Square Neighborhood Association went one step further, characterizing Jalili’s proposal as a “sleight of hand,” since his single project is slated to include four separate structures, each of which, on its own, is small enough to skirt City requirements for adequate parking. “While [the project] is compliant with the letter of the law,” added neighbor Thom Mitchell, “it is definitely not compliant with the spirit of the law.”

Despite these objections, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the project with the stipulation that a comprehensive follow-up traffic study must take place after the buildings are constructed and occupied.

Image, Amy Mendillo


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