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.

Rochambeau Branch lies within a residentially zoned area (R2 zone), with many abutting and nearby homes within sight. Under the Providence Zoning Ordinance, they are permitted only six square feet of signage. The existing internally-lit signpost required a variance, which SNA did not oppose at the time. Frosted glass signage in the new wing’s windows was installed without a variance.

SNA informed PPL of its position. PPL then requested a continuance of the variance hearing from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12 and scheduled a meeting with a small number of residents for Wednesday, Dec. 6 to discuss alternatives. SNA has contacted the board of Friends of the Rochambeau to ensure that they are fully informed and included in the Dec. 6 meeting. Participants in our SUMMIT email discussion have strongly stated a preference that the sign be inside the building.

We will post the results of the Dec. 6 discussion with PPL as soon as possible.

Categories: Zoning