Business leaders say amendment paves the way for job growth on Providence's waterfront.
Mayor Angel Taveras today announced that he has signed into law a landmark amendment to the Capital City's Zoning Ordinance to protect the working waterfront and prime the corridor for further job growth.
The amendment to Chapter 27 of the Ordinances of City of Providence changes zoning regulations to protect industrial and working waterfront uses along the Allens Avenue corridor from the Hurricane Barrier to ProvPort. The amendment was signed into law on July 24, 2014.
Mayor Taveras, City Council President Michael Solomon and business leaders who long advocated for the change said the amendment is expected to provide stability to area businesses.
"Hundreds of direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs are based right here in the industrial waterfront of Providence," said Mayor Taveras. "This amendment paves the way for the creation of more high-paying blue-collar jobs, brings the Zoning Ordinance into compliance with the City's Comprehensive Plan, and sends a clear signal to companies worldwide that Providence is dedicated to supporting its industrial and working waterfront businesses."
"The Port of Providence is one of our greatest economic assets, and the maritime industries and manufacturers along Allens Avenue demonstrate that Providence has a thriving working waterfront," said Council President Solomon. "The updated zoning enacted by the City Council and Mayor protects these uses, and supports the City's vision to expand manufacturing and industries that utilize our port and deep water access to create good-paying jobs and grow our economy."
"The Providence Working Waterfront Alliance deeply appreciates the leadership of Mayor Taveras and the City Council in passing strong industrial zoning to protect the good paying blue collar jobs and critical resources that our area provides for the city, state, and wider region," said Ellis Waldman, owner of Walco Electric and Chairman of the Providence Working Waterfront Alliance. "With this zoning in place, our businesses can continue to grow and take advantage of the port area's deep water channel, rail, and highway access. These are precisely the unique infrastructure assets we should be investing in and promoting to grow Rhode Island's economy."
According to executives at Moran Shipping Agencies, a 77-year old Providence company and world leader in shipping husbandry, more than 90 percent of the world's cargo is moved by water-borne transportation, vessels are getting larger and deeper in draft for economies of scale, and with the expansion of the Panama Canal, our port is well-poised for expansion.
"Our deep-water port just a few miles off the marine super highway provides Providence's working waterfront and nearby industrial businesses access to capturing hundreds of millions of dollars in total economic impact," said Gavin R. Black, in-house Admiralty counsel for Moran Shipping. "The port supplies the region's energy, provides hundreds of good paying blue collar jobs, and thousands more related jobs. As the largest independently owned and operated steamship agency in North America today, we are a proud part of Rhode Island's rich maritime heritage and deeply appreciate the leadership of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and City Council President Michael Solomon, who understand the need to maintain industrial zoning for our working waterfront."