As one of the key initiatives in my economic development action plan, Putting Providence Back to Work, I am pleased to present an updated and improved Providence Zoning Ordinance for public comment. This document is the result of a year-long collaborative effort between city departments, residents, business owners, developers, institutions, and other stakeholders.
Zoning is a critical tool to implement the City’s goals for smart, sustainable, equitable and transit-oriented development that enhances the vibrancy and livability of our Capital City. I am confident that the new ordinance will provide a clear framework for guiding the growth and development of Providence, which will enhance and strengthen our City into the future.
The public release draft of the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance is now available for download. You can download it here.
A Public Meeting was held Tuesday, March 4th, where City of Providence staff and consultants presented the key changes proposed in the draft of the new zoning ordinance. Following a presentation of the key changes, staff and consultants conducted an open house where members of the public provided feedback and comments on the draft zoning ordinance.
The last general amendment to the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance occurred in 1994; since that time, zoning amendments, both to the text and map, have been made to address specific issues as they emerged. This project, unlike the piecemeal amendments over the past ten years, is comprehensive and meant to address the variety of issues and conditions present in the City today as well as realize the land use goals of adopted policies. Therefore, comprehensive changes are anticipated to both the Ordinance text and Zoning Map, rather than to specific properties or sections of text.
A general amendment of the Zoning Ordinance includes a wide range of revisions to the different components of the Ordinance text including district standards, use permissions, processes, and development standards such as accessory structures, signs, and parking. In addition, this revision anticipates changes to the geographic boundaries of current zoning districts, the consolidation of existing districts, and creation of new districts, which means that the Zoning Map will also be part of this general amendment. In the end, this update will create a new Ordinance and Map that better addresses “on the ground” conditions, which will reduce nonconformities, and creates new regulations and districts to implement the vision articulated in Providence Tomorrow, the City’s officially adopted comprehensive plan, and other adopted policies.