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Have you ever asked yourself...
"How can I be sure that my projects will reach the right audience and have the right impact?"
"What can I do to make sure that my efforts go beyond 'the usual suspects'?"
"How do I measure the impact of my efforts?"
...if so, this course if for you!
In this interactive workshop, using your own project idea, you will learn how to design it to achieve measurable results. You'll sharpen your skills in information gathering, project planning, and evaluation preparation, and walk away with confidence in how to build in accountability and strategic thinking for project success. To ensure that you're ready to dive into the workshop material, you'll be asked to complete a short assignment and participate in a brief call before the workshop; in total these tasks will not exceed 1.5 hours.
Target Audiences: natural resource mangers (federal, state, local), municipal staff, officials, and volunteers, NGO staff and other interested parties.
14 AICP credits offered
This course is taught by trainers from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. Thanks to NOAA funding, it is offered free of charge.
(PLEASE NOTE that if you register, you are committing to BOTH days)
Space is limited so register early to reserve your spot!
Questions? Please contact Jennifer West at email@example.com or 401-222-4700, x7413.
By Louis Sousa, Esq.
Regardless of one’s position regarding the Belvedere development proposal, there is irrefutable fact. The administrative treatment of zoning and planning board applications, and especially of complex ones, is a colossal mess. There is a way to make it better for applicants and objectors. It is called Unified Development Review.
Unified Development Review arose from a new law passed in the Rhode Island legislature in 2016. Recognizing the mercury retrograde effect of a multi-board process, the Legislature empowered cities and towns to consolidate applications formerly requiring zoning and planning oard review into one application, with the planning board, in addition to its usual charge, having the power to grant variances and special use permits.
The legislature enacted this law for a reason. The current dual-board process is overly time consuming and imposes excessive costs on applicants and taxpayers and creates multiple opportunities for filing appeals.
One appeal is time consuming for every participant and involves significant expense incurred by the applicant and the objector and the taxpayers. My personal observation is the applicant in a dual-board process becomes a ping pong ball, swatted back and forth between two boards with different administrators who may or may not have different personal biases.
Here is a real-world example. You are the applicant. You propose to sub-divide the land comprising your homestead to build a new home on the subdivided lot for your daughter. Unfortunately, the lot will be undersized and from the size of the home your daughter needs for a rowing family, dimensional variances are needed. You don’t get along with your neighbor. He thinks your dog barks too much.
Here is a common result under the current process for a simple minor subdivision to build a house for a family member on your homestead lot:
Here is the process under the Unified Development Review allowed by state law:
What take-aways result from these hypotheticals?
Bristol’s website says it is “open for business.” Turning to the Belvedere process and regardless of your position, the process endured by that applicant shows that Bristol is not business friendly when applied to complex and costly projects.
Should the Unified Development Review process be applied to a future project along the lines of this one? Having been in the trenches in Bristol on applications of this nature, it is my opinion the answer is yes. Doing so would give an applicant a truer and more efficient and less costly path to receiving or not receiving an approval. At the same time, it will fully preserve legal recourse for objectors.
In my opinion, the fragmented process exposed from the Belvedere proposal is itself a deterrent to others making significant investment in our Town, and that needs to change.
Mr. Sousa, of 232 Hope St., represented Belvedere at Thames developer Jim Roiter in the early stages of that application being heard before Bristol boards.
Courtesy of the Bristol Phoenix
Courtesy of The Narragansett Times
Sunday, June 03, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) awarded $42,000 in grants to ten local groups to work projects related to climate change education and community resilience.
“The wide-ranging public health effects of climate change impacting Rhode Islanders include harm to our food and water supply; increases in diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects; and increases in extreme weather events. Worse yet, certain communities will bear a disproportionate burden of the increases in injuries and diseases that we expect, and are already seeing in some cases. These communities include lower income Rhode Islanders, the elderly, and people with chronic medical conditions. The Department of Health is funding these 10 innovative projects because public health is most successful when it is grassroots and community-driven. The entire state needs to mobilize together if we want to create a healthy, sustainable, and resilient future for all Rhode Islanders,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.
The grants will fund 10 projects across the state.
The work of the awardees will focus on various communities, including the Cape Verdean community, people who are incarcerated, young people, senior citizens, and residents more vulnerable to heat and flooding.
Grantees will work to support communities that are better prepared for disasters, and that are able to recover in ways that address the socioeconomic and environmental factors that make some individuals more vulnerable to climate change.
Examples of these socioeconomic and environmental factors include transportation, education, employment opportunities, safe and healthy housing, and access to healthy food.
The awardees and grants were:
The Town of Barrington: Barrington Emergency Preparedness Week: Health Risks in a Changing Climate. Barrington will provide a series of workshops that will raise awareness and discuss specific steps residents can take to prevent or mitigate health threats from a variety of climate-related events.
Bristol Fire Department: Know Your Neighbor Campaign. This project will present several workshops to seniors throughout the community to improve emergency preparedness within the first 72 hours of an emergency event, and to provide information about temperature extremes and floods.
Garden Time: Climate Change Education through Inmate Programming. Garden Time provides garden programs for incarcerated men and women at the Rhode Island Adult Correction Institutions. Garden Time students will conduct an environmental messaging campaign within the prison and beyond.
Groundwork RI: Educating Green Team Youth about Climate Resiliency. Groundwork RI will engage Green Team members in learning and communicating about climate resiliency and tick-borne illnesses and will develop a workshop to present to young audiences.
Neighborworks Blackstone Valley: Engaging Youth to Increase Knowledge of Emergency Preparedness. Ten “Resiliency Ambassadors” will learn about resiliency and emergency preparedness and will design creative strategies to reach families in Northern Rhode Island.
NobidadeTV: New Challenges, New Media, New Conversations: Cape Verdeans Talk Climate Change in Rhode Island’s Urban Cores. NobidadeTV is the longest-running Cape Verdean television program in the United States, started in Rhode Island in 1988. NobidadeTV will use their programming to deepen public awareness and knowledge of climate-related issues through video productions that will run on television, YouTube and Twitter.
Providence Housing Authority: Senior Resiliency Education and Integration. The Providence Housing Authority will integrate best practices from the Senior Resiliency Project into its Emergency Operations Manual and will reduce their residents’ vulnerability to extreme heat by providing educational materials and air conditioning brackets.
Smithfield Emergency Management Agency: Monitoring and Responding to Extreme Heat Events. This project will allow the Smithfield Emergency Management Agency to develop a portable cooling center, create a road race event alert system to monitor weather, and to assess residents’ food safety after a power loss.
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council: Bringing New Voices to the Water Table: Olneyville Resists Sea Level Rise with Resilience. A new initiative, “New Voices at the Water Table” will build residents’ confidence in their ability to keep families safe from flooding and will engage residents at “Nature at Work” tours and local events.
Young Voices: Youth Outreach on Summer Heat. For 11 years, Young Voices has empowered more than 650 low-income youth to achieve, succeed, and become confident civic leaders. Youth Voices will advocate for policy change related to summer air quality alert days and will conduct an education campaign about summer hydration.
Thursday, August, 9, 2018
By ALEX TRUBIA
NORTH KINGSTOWN – The North Kingstown Planning Commission discussed Tuesday modifications to the Wickford Woods project, a major land development consisting of 40-unit condominiums located on Ten Rod and Tower Hill Roads. The discussion, at times heated, ended with the commission approving some of the modifications, while rejecting others that would have entailed making changes to the zoning ordinance, something the commission decided should be left up to the town council.
Supervising planner Maura Harrington outlined the proposed modifications to the project’s final plan decision, which had been finalized last year. After the original applicant for the Wickford Woods project went through the development process, the development was sold to Thomas Santilli, who requested the changes to the original development plan.
The requests included: raising the affordable housing unit requirements from 80 percent of area median income (AMI) to 120 percent; a delayed completion date for a pathway connecting the condominiums to Dave’s Marketplace, allowing certificates of occupancy to be approved before the completion of the pathway; and removal of the installation of a sidewalk as a point of order.
Though the original development plan was agreed to by the former developer, Robert Carr, planning commission member Tracey McCue said Santilli’s request to modify the plan was “disingenuous.”
“I kind of feel like everything we decided, we’re taking a big gut in here. And I think it’s really kind of disingenuous,” McCue said. “We granted the project to go ahead based on these conditions. Now that you have someone new, now it’s going back to try and negotiate a contract.”
“I have concerns about a precedent being set. We hold developers to the same standards If we start allowing developers to come back and negotiate what we sit here through meetings to do, I think it’s setting a very dangerous precedent,” she added. “I think it diminishes what this commission does.”
Planning commission member Paul Dion also said he was “insulted” by some of the requests.
“We spent hours on this thing. Multiple meetings,” Dion said. “When this was sold [to Santilli], they knew exactly what was required.”
The commission went one by one through the requested modifications, voting on each separately.
First was the delayed completion of the pathway to Dave’s Marketplace. The condition in the development plan stated that the path must be completed prior to the issuance of any certificates of occupancy.
Santilli said he was making the request because, while the pathway would be completed within a month and a half, it would be helpful to the development of the project if he were allowed to issue certificates of occupancy before the completion of the pathway.
The planning commission voted unanimously to allow up to ten certificates of occupancy prior to the completion of the path.
Following the approval of the certificates of occupancy, the commission took up the issue of affordable housing, which is defined as 8- percent of the AMI by the town ordinance. However, Santilli pointed out that state law defines affordable housing as no less than 120 percent of the AMI. After lengthy discussion over whether state law trumps the town ordinance, the commission unanimously rejected Santilli’s proposed modification to the development plan, ultimately leaving the decision up to the town council.
Finally, the commission took up the request to remove the installation of a sidewalk in front of the property from the points of order. Planning director Nicole LaFontaine said she discussed the matter with the Department of Transportation (DOT), who said they were not in favor of the installation of the sidewalk, calling it “haphazard.” However, commission members said they wanted to see DOT’s formal opinion in writing before making a decision.
Courtesy of The Standard Times
ALEX TRUBIA | Sep 21, 2018
NORTH KINGSTOWN – The planning commission voted to recommend the town council amend the town’s affordable housing ordinance and modify the area median income (AMI) threshold in the North Kingstown town ordinance to align with the state’s AMI, which is 120 percent AMI. The town’s affordable housing designation is currently 80 percent AMI.
For a two-bedroom home, 120 percent AMI would be around $280,000 for the purchase price; for a three-bedroom home, 120 percent would be around $312,000. Under the current affordable housing designation of 80 percent AMI, a two bedroom home purchase price is around $181,000; while a three bedroom home is $203,000.
Affordable housing indicates residential housing that has a sales price or rental amount within the means of a household that has moderate income or less. In the case of dwelling units for sale, housing that is affordable indicates housing in which principal, interest and taxes, which may be adjusted by state and local programs for property tax relief and insurance, constitute no more than 30 percent of the gross household income for a household with less than 120 percent AMI, adjusted for family size.
Courtesy of The NK Standard-Times
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