Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 02-17-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 PAWTUCKET FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION PAWTUCKET – Tidewater Landing now has the flexible zon- ing it needs to proceed on the city's riverfront after the City Council last week approved creation of the Riverfront Tidewater District. A week after the state approved financing incentives for the project, the City Council approved the zon- ing changes for the development that will allow the ability to build taller structures and place multiple build- ings on a single parcel, among other changes. Several council members and resi- dents at the Feb. 10 virtual council meeting spoke of their desire for affordable housing to be implement- ed into the mixed-use project, but Dan Kroeber of Fortuitous Partners was reluctant to commit to incorpo- rating it. Answering Councilor Ama Amponsah's question about afford- able units, Kroeber said the devel- opers are in the process of figuring out the exact mix of housing, but it's a difficult topic with many per- spectives. Affordable housing does require some support through tax credits and other means to make it work, said Kroeber, so though Fortuitous is "absolutely consider- ing" affordable housing, more due diligence and research on available programs needs to be done first. Resident Adam Cable said he thinks the project that's planned a couple of blocks from his home is a great one, addressing an eyesore brownfield, and said he looks for- ward to using a planned Riverwalk. Cable said he would like to see a company that's getting "incredible amounts of tax incentives" to build this riverfront project put up afford- able housing with it, saying "it's only right that Pawtucket gets something from that (package of incentives)." Resident Philip West again urged the council to put affordable hous- ing at the top of its agenda, saying he's been deeply disappointed as past proposals have been shelved. COVID-19 has only made life worse for many people, he said, and he urged the council to declare an affordable housing crisis and create a committee to work on the situation. Councilor Alexis Schuette said the ordinance before the council last week didn't directly address the question of affordable housing, but she urged the developers to make the soccer stadium-centered develop- ment a contributor to making life more sustainable for residents. She said an ad hoc committee should be formed to dig into the issue of city- wide affordable housing. Assistant Planning Director Jay Rosa mapped out the changes to zoning before the council approved them. On building height, he said none will end up reaching a higher point than the tallest buildings in downtown Pawtucket because of the significant slope everything is on. The current height limit is 45 feet here, he said, and the new maximum will be 120 feet. Kroeber then stated that he doesn't expect any building to be more than six stories, so in the 60- to 80-foot range, and the only structures that will approach 120 feet are the light towers needed for the stadium. There's a benefit with those taller lights, he said, as they better direct light and keep glare from spilling into surrounding neighborhoods. The owners of the yarn store build- ing across the street from Tidewater Landing's 45 Division St. parcel said they're happy to see the project pro- ceeding, but had several concerns, including whether the planned event center across the street might be so tall that it blocks their solar panels. Kroeber responded that the buildings have been planned so they have no impact on that aspect. He said the event center would be a single-level space, including basketball and vol- leyball courts, among other ameni- ties. Answering questions about green energy, Kroeber said the developers are very much interested in incor- porating renewable energy into the project. Tidewater zoning approved; owners non-committal on affordable units By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor PAWTUCKET – Seven City Council members missed one or zero meetings in 2020, while Councilor Tim Rudd was last in attendance for a second year, with Councilor Meghan Kallman just ahead of him. Rudd attended 56.67 percent of meetings, missing 13 of 30 meetings. The only other coun- cilor to miss more than one meeting, Kallman, attended 66.67 percent of the time, missing 10 total meetings. Council President David Moran had perfect attendance, never miss- ing a meeting in 2020, according to meeting minutes, while all other council members missed one meeting apiece, for a 96.7 percent attendance rate each. The 29 total missed meetings from the entire council was a slight improvement on 2019, when councilors missed 31 council meetings. The totals do not include the many subcommittee meetings, where absences are more frequent than at Rudd, Kallman absences increased in 2020 By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See ABSENCES, Page 11 RUDD KALLMAN Send a 'thank you' to a health care hero PROVIDENCE – Dear Rhode Island is partnering with Care New England, Prospect CharterCARE and Thundermist Health Center to send thank you letters to health care work- ers on the front lines of the health crisis. Dear Rhode Island is a communi- ty-led project with the goal of build- ing connections across Rhode Island with the power of letters. For this special edition, the project is focusing on reaching health care workers. Pen pals can sign up to write to frontline workers by March 20. They will be matched with a hospital or health care facility, and have until April 15 to mail their letter. Learn more and sign up online at . Learn more about the local businesses in your area in next week's special section published on February 24th & 25th. 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