Taveras streamlines zoning plans for Knowledge District

PROVIDENCE MAYOR Angel Taveras has streamlined zoning regulations for the development of the Interstate 195 corridor as well as downtown’s Knowledge District.
Posted 5/16/12

PROVIDENCE – Mayor Angel Taveras has streamlined zoning regulations for the development of the Interstate 195 corridor as well as the city’s Knowledge District, Taveras announced Wednesday.

The new regulations, which promote the rehabilitation of historic buildings and include a new series of height zones for new development, will be implemented by both city and I-195 Redevelopment District Commission officials.

“The relocation of I-195 and new development downtown is an incredible opportunity for Providence to attract new businesses, open up new revenue-generating property, and build a stronger economy in Providence and Rhode Island,” said Taveras in prepared remarks.

“Providence’s new zoning plan clears red tape and gives developers and business owners a more predictable path forward as we work with our academic and health care institutions and our partners at the Statehouse to grow Providence’s Knowledge District into a 21st century economic engine,” said Taveras.

The new zoning provides incentives for mixed-use, structured parking and open space networks.

According to a release, the new regulations promote “growth of the knowledge economy by allowing for research and development through downtown Providence and expansion of colleges and hospitals in the Jewelry District.”

Taveras’ updated zoning plans include illustrated regulations, a transparent process with many approvals subject to streamlined approval and safeguards to ensure a rigorous review process for the demolition of historic buildings.

The Providence Department of Planning and Development led the process on the new zoning regulations, along with international planning and design consultant Perkins + Will.

Two committees, chaired by Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, and John Sinnott, district manager of Gilbane Building Co., advised the city on drafting the new plans.

The new zoning regulations were adopted two months ahead of schedule.

“Having a transparent, understandable and efficient zoning ordinance is critical to encourage investment in our capital city, and especially the development of the Knowledge District,” said White.

“Having this new system in place will better position us as a community to meet the attraction, investment and sustainability needs required to be competitive and grow the jobs base,” added White.

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