Monthly Report - Office of the Town Planner
Submitted by: Albert V. Ranaldi Jr. - Town Planner
Below are brief descriptions of current projects and activities that the Planning Department was involved in during the month of April, 2017. If you would like a more detailed explanation of a particular project, please feel free to contact me.
Community Planning Projects
· Comprehensive Plan Update
The Town’s comprehensive plan was last updated in 2009. In 2011, the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act were amended. This amendment created a more efficient and effective process for Cities and Towns to update their Comprehensive Plans to be consistent with the State’s Land Use 2025: Rhode Island’s State Land Use Policies and Plan. The highlights of the amendment include setting a standard 20-year planning timeframe for the comprehensive plan and requiring a plan to be replaced or re-adopted every 10 years. All cities and town’s comprehensive plans must be consistent with the State’s plan by June 1, 2016. The Planning Department initiated an update to the current plan. The update will be conducted by the Planning Board through the Planning Department with advice from the Town Solicitor’s office. The comprehensive plan update was introduces to the Planning Board during their May meeting. I began to update the Land Use and Natural Resources elements of the Comprehensive Plan. During the month of May, I developed and issued a request for qualifications for a consultant to assist the planning department in updating the Comprehensive Plan. Four submissions were received. They will be evaluated in June. During the month of June, a consultant was selected and approved by the Town Council. The first meeting with the consultant is scheduled for the first week of July. A scope of work was refined and any new data, research, and maps were shared.
Monthly Progress Update: Our consultant completed their scope of work. The Planning Department completed a build out analysis of land available for future development and will use this data to update sections accordingly.
Community Development Block Grant Program
The Planning Department began to develop the PY 2013 Town application for the upcoming funding year. The Town is eligible for up to $300,000 in grant funding. The Town is proposing to submit eight (8) projects for a total of $241,600. This application was reviewed by the Planning Board and Town Council during their March meetings. The Planning Board voted unanimously that the proposed projects with the application are consistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. The Town Council voted unanimously to submit the application to the State. On August 14, 2013, the Town’s CDBG program was awarded $86,440 for the following activities; Housing Rehabilitation - $60,000, Family Literacy Center (FLC) Programming - $10,500, FLC Adult Workforce Development - $2,940, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center - $5,000, Boys and Girls Club Scholarships - $5,000, Community Housing Land Trust - $2,000, and Program Administration - $1,000. During the month of May, the PY2015 CDBG application was developed and reviewed by the Town Council and the Planning Board. The application was submitted to the State on June 2 and award was made in November 2015. The Program Year 2016 CDBG grant application was completed. The Planning Board issued a statement of consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. Attended the March 3, meeting of the Program Year (PY) 2015 awards and announcement of PY 2016 application period. The Town of Lincoln was granted permission to apply for housing rehabilitation grants and loans that are administrated by CDBG. However, the Town’s application for Public Service funding was not granted.
Monthly Progress Update: Submitted the PY 2016 application to the state.
The Planning Department developed and submitted an Open Space (Recreation) grant application issued by DEM. In August, the Town was awarded a conditional Recreational Grant to redevelop the existing garage at Chase Farm into a visitor comfort station. This grant will be funded if the state bond Question #6 - Green Economy Bonds passes in the general election on November 8. The new visitor comfort station will provide public handicap accessible restrooms, a concession room, a community room, and a covered pavilion. The existing garage area will remain as storage. This grant is dependent on
Monthly Progress Update: Question #6 passed in the General Election. Therefore, our grant was awarded to the Town. Project contracts were issued and sign. The Engineering Department engaged an architect to design the building. On January 24, we had a project kick off with the architect t and a subsequent meeting on January 30. During the month of February, we reviewed and approved the schematic design of the proposed comfort station. During the month of March, the proposed design was reviewed by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. In the first week of April, we received project sign-off on the design. We authorized the architects to move forward with building design.
Attended the Planning Board’s April meeting.
MISC. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
· Attended staff meetings and director meetings as needed.
Address all Town resident questions in regards to community planning and subdivision procedures.