Opportunities for Obstruction of RhodeMap According to RhodeMap

According to the RhodeMap RI plan:

1.  Pg. 121

"As communities continue to move toward the identification of growth centers, local officials and supporters must be prepared for public discussions that can sometimes be confusing and confrontational. Questions that will often arise include:

  • What exactly is a “growth center” and how does that relate to my town?
  • What are the key elements of a growth center?
  • Where could one be located in my town?
  • What could it look like?"

 . . . A few sentences later:

"Whether resistance comes from the general public, local officials, or existing business owners, it is generally rooted in fear of words like “urban” or “density”. Particularly in rural or suburban bedroom communities, phrases like “housing diversity” or “mixed use” can conjure images of 10-story apartment buildings or giant shopping plazas that would not only be completely out of place, but also misrepresent what would be considered good planning."

Conclusion:  Exploit this.  Constantly cite "density" (mentioned 20 times in RhodeMap) and "mixed use" (mentioned 19 times in the document).

2.  Pg. 122

" One of the primary barriers to developing high quality mixed use growth centers in Rhode Island is the absence of zoning provisions that can enable and foster this type of investment. This is a problem throughout New England, where many communities are stuck with zoning ordinance language that requires development practices that are environmentally damaging, perpetuate inequity, and degrade historic settings."

Conclusion:  These laws need to be strengthened to explicitly state such types of investments are prohibited.

3.  Pg. 149

" The Office of Regulatory Reform does not currently have the charge or the staff capacity to review local regulations and assist municipalities in developing more streamlined, efficient, and consistent regulations and processes. This should be part of the consideration as that office grows."

Conclusion:  Further impede the powers of this office.

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  • John Niewiecki