At a hearing before the City Council’s Ordinance Committee, the Providence Working Waterfront Alliance testified in favor of an ordinance to maintain and strengthen industrial zoning on Allens Avenue to protect the area’s marine and heavy industrial businesses. Below is the formal letter of support submitted by the Alliance:

On behalf of the Providence Working Waterfront Alliance (PWWA), I write today in strong support of the petition to amend the Official Zoning Ordinance of the City of Providence by changing the text of Section 303, the Use Table, W-3 and M-2 Zones only, and the text of Appendix A, to protect working waterfront and industrial businesses along the Allens Avenue Corridor.

Providence’s working waterfront and nearby industrial businesses generate hundreds of millions of dollars in total economic impact, supply the region’s energy, provide hundreds of good paying blue collar jobs, and thousands more related jobs. This vital regional economic resource must be protected from incompatible uses.

That is why for the past 7 years, the members of the PWWA have worked closely with the City Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Planning Department to convey the importance of protecting Allens Avenue’s water-dependent and heavy industrial businesses from the threat of incompatible mixed-use residential and hotel development. Put simply, these uses are inappropriate in our heavy industrial neighborhood.

We were therefore pleased to see the City Council pass and Mayor Angel Taveras sign into law Providence Tomorrow, the City’s official Comprehensive Plan which calls for maintaining industrial zoning in our area.

Since passage of the Providence Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan, we have worked closely with the Planning Department to develop a zoning ordinance that implements and is consistent with the plan. The ordinance before you will accomplish this by maintaining and strengthening the W-3 and M-2 industrial zones along the Allens Avenue Corridor.

After many years of uncertainty, now is the time to finalize the zoning for Allens Avenue’s working waterfront and heavy industrial businesses. I ask that you support this ordinance which will provide area businesses with the certainty they need to invest in and grow their businesses.


Ellis Waldman

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