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  • Peter Phipps Fox Point Neighborhood Assn.

The drive against demolitions started in a snuggery

Call it the Duck and Bunny campaign.

And Ward 1 Councilman John Goncalves’ drive to end surprise demolitions has taken another step forward.

Three years ago Fox Point neighbors woke up to find “A beautiful old building on Providence's East Side … a pile of rubble,” WGAR TV wrote.

The Duck and Bunny Snuggery on Wickenden was gone.  Residents, Goncalves has testified, had no notice. And then the contractor walked away, leaving a demolition fence across part of the sidewalk.

That now seems unlikely to happen again.

In May City Council approved an ordinance requiring demolition contractors to notify a larger circle of property owners, post a 3’x4’ weather proof sign and wait for 14 days. That law applies to all properties.

Then on June 25 the Council’s ordinance committee voted to send along an amended version of the councilman’s second bill, an ordinance to delay demolitions for six months in an Historic District. 

The demo ban, opposed by the staff of the city Plan Commission, arrived at Council without a Plan Commission recommendation. Later there were concerns whether a six-month delay was legal.

Those concerns, Goncalves says, were addressed by city lawyers.   “It is more legally defensible and aligns with powers enabled by state and federal legislation,’’ Goncalves says.

The amended demo bill goes  to Council for. Votes July 11 and July 18.

Related to the demo bill is a third ordinance to create a Fox Point Historic District with about 300 properties between Brook and Governor south to India Point Park. Goncalves is working to build support for a council vote in the fall.

 The Fox Point list, posted at the Plan Commission, is searchable. If you run a control F function on your computer, you can see if your house is on the list.

Goncalves needs to get more than 50% of the sign on .“Fifty plus one” is the Plan Commission’s requirement. 


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