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Plan FAQs

What is a Comprehensive Plan?

The City of East Providence is updating its Comprehensive Plan. A Comprehensive Plan is a shared vision for East Providence’s future and a roadmap that guides how we get there together. It helps us make the things we love about East Providence even better and fix the things that need to be fixed. A good Comprehensive Plan is a tool that can be used frequently by City leaders, staff, boards, and committees to make decisions about:

  • What new development looks like and where it happens
  • How the City can protect environmentally sensitive areas and historic sites
  • Prioritizing future investments in community services and infrastructure that promote fairness and equity across the City
  • Better supporting local business development
  • Used by private developers for public and private investments across the City

Its most important goal is to protect and enhance the things in East Providence that make it a great place to live, both for today’s residents and future generations.

Why do we need a Comprehensive Plan?

The Comprehensive Plan helps the City…

  • Make better decisions about where to invest public infrastructure and improve municipal services.
  • Understand changing demographics and how shifts might impact housing, municipal services, transportation needs, and other aspects of City life.
  • Bring residents together to talk about the City’s future.
  • Be eligible for funding opportunities, showing how projects have been vetted with the public and are local priorities.
  • Stay in line with Rhode Island state law. RI Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act: All municipalities are to prepare and adopt a single comprehensive plan that are to be updated and re-adopted not less that ten years.

What’s included in the Plan?

  • Existing Plans: We’re not starting from scratch! The City has done a lot of planning over the years. The updated Comprehensive Plan will be build on the previous plan and other existing work to pull all of the best ideas into one place.
  • Facts and Data: In order to have the most useful plan, we need to understand who lives in East Providence, how old we are, where we come from, where we work, and how we get from place to place in order to make solid decisions on housing, services, transportation needs, and other aspects of life in East Providence.
  • Needs and Big Ideas: Beyond the numbers, we need to bring residents together to talk about the City’s future. What do you and your family and friends and neighbors need and want to live a happy and full life in East Providence? The updated Comprehensive Plan should be designed to address these needs.

A Comprehensive Plan includes discussions on the topics listed below. A good comprehensive plan looks at all of these topics together to understand how issues are connected and influence each other.

  • Community Facilities
  • Economic Development
  • Future Growth
  • Historic and Cultural Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Parks and Open Space
  • Population and Housing
  • Sustainability and Energy
  • Transportation and Connectivity

East Providence’s Comprehensive Plan will be a “living” document that can evolve over time, and generally includes:

  • Vision: How residents see the City 20 years from now.
  • Goals: What does East Providence look like when all the community’s hopes and dreams have been achieved? These should be ambitious but also things the City can move toward in a measurable way.
  • Policies and Objectives: These give direction to decision-makers and everyone in the community on how to go about reaching our goals. How should the City handle difficult issues, prioritize scarce dollars, and work together to make progress?
  • Actions: These are the specific steps needed to keep the community moving toward our goals. These are things we can “check off the list” each year as we implement the plan.

How is the Comprehensive Plan used? 

Envisioning the Future: A good Comprehensive Plan provides a vision for the City as a whole, as well as for neighborhoods and districts that have unique resources and opportunities. Resource protection, economic development, housing, transportation, and many other critical issues are examined in an integrated manner, laying the groundwork for a prosperous future. 

Reviewing Development Proposals: Local boards and committees often use the Comprehensive Plan to support decisions related to development proposals. For example, the Planning Board uses the plan to help determine if proposals are appropriate for a particular neighborhood. The Comprehensive Plan can provide specific policies against which proposals can be weighed. 

Updating Regulations: Zoning and other regulations are amended frequently. The Comprehensive Plan provides a framework for these amendments, ensuring that any regulatory changes are leading the City toward a clearly articulated vision. 

Investing in Infrastructure: The Comprehensive Plan describes how the community sees specific areas of the City in the future and layouts out a general strategy to make that happen. For example, an area might need a new access road, clean-up if it is contaminated, or upgraded utilities to make it desirable for development (or redevelopment). The Comprehensive Plan can outline steps the City will take to make some of those investments and what incentives it could offer to attract private investors.  

Implementation: The Comprehensive Plan provides a clear list of strategies for the City to pursue over the coming decade. These can include public investments like new sidewalks, additional parks and recreational areas, or incentives and regulatory reform for development where it is needed. Responsible parties, timeframes, and measures of success are included for both short and long-term strategies. 

Last Updated: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 9:52am