Clarke’s Flower shop zoning issue postponed until September meeting

In case you have not heard it elsewhere, the drive-thru zoning issue will not be on this evening’s agenda at City Hall.  It will likely be on the September agenda.

There is good discussion on this issue at the Preserve Providence”s Hope Street Facebook page, if you’d like to follow further:!/group.php?gid=147165855300258&v=info

Zoning variance for drive-thru coffee shop on Hope Street?

The proposal is to knock down the Clarke Florist building and erect a new building for a coffee shop, which would include a drive-through.  Given its proximity to Summit Neighborhood and that the lot is not currently zoned for a drive-through, we are hoping to gain some insight into how our neighbors would prefer this project to proceed.  The project needs a zoning variance to include a drive-through, and many neighbors have already expressed concern for potential increased car and foot traffic, not to mention its closeness to Hope High School.

Have an opinion?  Please comment here and/or on the listserv.

Also, there are two meetings to attend to voice your concerns.  This evening there will be a meeting, with the new owner in attendance, at the YMCA on Hope Street (421 Hope St) at 6:30pm.

The zoning meeting will be held on August 16 at 5:30pm, at City Hall, 5th Floor (25 Dorrance St).

Look for other members of SNA at both meetings and join forces!

There will be a meeting Thursday, August 12 at 6:30pm regarding this issue.

Vote on Summit Neighborhood Plan Slated for Oct. 20, 2009




The Hope, Mount Hope and Blackstone Plan was presented and public comments were received at the July meeting of the CPC.  The plan was amended based on comments received and the changes were presented at the August 18th meeting.  The CPC agreed to postpone voting on the plan until the October 20th  meeting. 

 Here is the August 2009 revision with changes underlined:

 Mount Hope-Hope-Blackstone Neighborhood Plan Draft–August 2009




Introduction 3

Contents 4

Charrette Overview 5

Charrette Schedule 6

Neighborhood Overview 7 – 11

Mount Hope, Hope and Blackstone History Timeline 8 – 9

The People – Neighborhood Demographics 12 – 13

Development Patterns – Neighborhood Typologies 14 – 18

Historic Districts 19

Business and Industry 20

Neighborhood Issues 21 – 25

Neighborhood Action Plan 26 – 36

Next Steps 37

Take SNA’s 2009 Summit Issues Survey

What does your neighborhood need?  Help plan Summit Neighborhood Association’s activities for 2009 by taking SNA’s amazingly quick 2009 Community Issues Survey Click Here to take survey.

The top issues emerging from this survey will be discussed in detail at our 2009 Annual Meeting coming up on February 23 at 7pm at Summit Commons Nursing Home 99 Hillside Ave.

Neighborhood charette outcomes shared

The city Department of Planning and Development (DPD) issued A “Draft Action Plan” for the Summit, Mt. Hope and Blackstone neighborhoods at a public meeting this past November 14th. The plan summarizes work done at our four-day neighborhood charette held in September. It’s neither final nor official yet, so it’s a good time for neighbors, whether you participated in the charette or not, to take a look.
The plan presents six objectives, each with two to four projects. For each project, a number of actions are proposed along with those responsible and a target date. The plan reflects the strength – open dialog – and the weakness – the need to attend workday sessions – of the charette process. (more…)

City pushes Summit charrette back to fall

The City of Providence informed SNA last week that a neighborhood planning “charrette” for the Summit, Mt. Hope and Blackstone areas of the East Side will be postponed to September rather than being held in June as previously announced by the Dept. of Planning and Development.
The charrette for our neighborhood is now (and still “tentatively”) scheduled for Sept. 24 through 28 with a follow-up meeting on Nov. 14. For updates, check with SNA or with the city Planning Department web site:

SNA Response to Library Sign Discussions

Since a public discussion has ensued regarding SNA’s position on the zoning variance for the Rochambeau public library that was recently denied, the neighborhood association has submitted a letter to the editors of East Side Monthly, responding to a published letter in the April issue. The April letter to the editor can also be found here on our website.

Dear Editors,

I am writing on behalf of the Summit Neighborhood Association (SNA) to address concerns in the Letters to the Editor about SNA’s opposition to a zoning variance for signage at the Providence Public Library, Rochambeau branch.

As a neighborhood association funded by member dues and legislative grants, SNA’s goal is to sustain the residential fabric of the neighborhood that gives Summit its unique and vibrant character. We strive to do this in as transparent, inclusive, and open way as possible – and we are always open to suggestions as to how to include more voices in the discussion.

Proposed Library sign stirs neighbor dissent

The Providence Public Library has filed for a zoning variance from the Providence Zoning Board of Review to permit a 14 foot-long by 18-inch high sign to be placed outside the glass of the new wing at the level of the second floor. The sign would thank a PPL donor for a very large gift made during the last year.

Reflecting almost universal neighbor dismay with this very large and intrusive new sign, SNA strongly opposes the variance as an extension of the commercial character of Hope Street into the residential neighborhood. The request will be heard by the Zoning Board on Dec. 12. However, we hope that the Library will work with our community to find an acceptable alternative way to thank this generous donor at a meeting on Dec. 6. (more…)

Zoning Board says “no” to second driveway

The Providence Zoning Board of Review refused to grant a variance to build a second driveway at a house at 170-174 Fourth Street on August 22. SNA argued against the variance, the second parking-related variance requested and refused for this property in the last year. Former SNA Board member Bonnie Robison mobilized neighbors to oppose the variance. Two neighbors spoke at the hearing and 14 more expressed opposition by letter or petition. (more…)

Neighbors form committee on Hillside property

More than 40 residents attended an SNA-sponsored meeting on the future of the former Hillside Health Center between Chace and Hillside Avenues on August 10. The nursing home entered bankruptcy in 2003 and was forced to close its doors in June of 2004. Neighbors are concerned about how future use of the property will help or harm the neighborhood.

At the meeting, neighbors formed a new, SNA-affiliated working committee, chaired by John Smithers of Hillside Ave, to represent neighborhood interests in the re-development of the large complex. The new committee will monitor developments at Hillside, including current court cases and future regulatory proceedings, keep neighbors informed and aware and advocate for re-using the Hillside buildings in ways that are most appropriate to our residential neighborhood.

To learn more about the committee or to share information about the Hillside Health Center, please contact John Smithers: (401) 751-2505 or by email:

Read the full notes of the Hillside Committee meetings here. (more…)