City Council Vote — Fane Tower

(9.6) Update: The City Council voted to send the issue back to the Ordinance Committee for further study. See report on WPRI.

After hours-long public hearings, the Fane Organization’s request for three changes to the Providence zoning ordinance has been rejected not once, but twice! Brent Runyon, executive director of the Providence Preservation Society — along with the Jewelry District Association and all the adjacent neighborhood organizations — has been spearheading opposition efforts. Go to the PPS Parcel 42/Fane Tower advocacy page for details.

On May 15th, the City Plan Commission issued a ringing vote (5-2)against recommending it to the City Council. On July 18th, the City Council’s Ordinance Committee voted (3-1-1) against recommending the zoning change.

Recently, we scored another victory when City Council President David Salvatore stated his opposition to the proposal (more here.) We commend the six other councilmembers who have publicly voiced opposition to the proposed zoning changes: Principe, Hassett, Zurier, Yurdin, LaFortune, and Harris.

Now it’s time to apply pressure to all members of the City Council to let them know this tower project is not in the best interests of the city or its residents — in the short or long term. The zoning change petition is scheduled to go before the full City Council at 7pm, September 6th, in the City Council Chamber.

Runyon has crafted a PPS opposition letter which perfectly states the problems with this project, including: Spot Zoning; Scale; Streetscape; and Subsidy and Public Benefit.

City Council President David Salvatore and Councilmembers Principe, Hassett, Zurier, Yurdin, LaFortune, and Harris are to be commended for publicly stating their opposition to the petition for zoning changes. Now it’s time to apply pressure to all members of City Council and let them know this tower project is not in the best interests of the city or its residents — in the short or long term.

Email City Council members HERE!

Or CALL the City Council at (401) 521.7477! This is the general City Council number. Open the above list and you can ask for the individual City Councilmember and leave a message.

For me, one of the most aggravating moments of that City Council Ordinance Committee meeting came from Councilwoman Ryan (who is being challenged in the Sept. 12 primary). From RI Future, 7.18.18,

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan moved to continue the zoning change in order to hear more information about the proposal from Fane himself.

Specifically, Ryan spouted some nonsense about having a “fiduciary duty” to hear the developer’s presentation! At first I thought she must not know what the word “fiduciary” means. But her official bio states that she has been in the banking industry for over 30 years — she knows what “fiduciary” means. What she doesn’t seem clear on is that her duty is to the people of Providence.

And why wasn’t she bothered by the fact that Fane had chosen not to attend that very hearing?! Happily, Councilman Zurier put this cynical ploy into its proper perspective.

Councilman Samuel Zurier also offered a strong argument against continuing the proposal: “I’ve never heard of a rule that said a developer has to have an invitation to come… I hope you don’t create a new rule where a developer can have two bites of the apple, where a developer can not exercise their ability to speak as a member of the public, and then say, you didn’t go the right way, so we insist on having a second hearing.”

The huge groan Ryan’s remark elicited went up partly because so many of those in attendance had been to multiple hearings and countless presentations since Fane first showed up. Why didn’t Ryan attend any of those?

So call and write Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan ( and let her know, in no uncertain terms, her duty is to the people of Providence!

City Council Vote, 7pm, Thursday, September 6, Providence City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street, (directions), 401.521.7477



2 thoughts on “City Council Vote — Fane Tower”

  1. Maybe she means that the project will bring 75 plus million dollars in tax revenue over the lifetime of the TSA to a city that is on track to go bankrupt. Just sayin..
    That does not include the revenue of the permitting and building process. The revenue of spending from workers building such a massive project and the economic development that comes about when you give people a ladder into the middle class with good union construction jobs.
    The opposition needs to step back an realize that people lives are more important than the view from the hill..

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