The City Council for Cranston is meeting publicly tonight at 7 p.m. and will be deliberating on the following proposal sponsored by Paula McFarland and Emilio Navarro:
VI. DOCKETED RESOLUTIONS
Resolution Urging the Cranston Zoning Board of Review to Revoke the Building Permit Issued by the Building Official for the Construction of a Concrete and/or Cement Plant Adjacent to a Well Established, Heavily Populated, Residential Neighborhood, and Directing the City Solicitor and its Legal Counsel to Prepare a Lawsuit and Take all Steps Reasonably Necessary to Prevent the Construction of the Concrete and/or Cement Plant. Sponsored by Council Vice-President McFarland and Councilman Navarro.
Also of interest is this letter from Mayor Michael Napolitano outlining his position on the matter, from the Projo, published on March 21, 2007:
I feel compelled to clarify The Providence Journal headline which read: “Mayor will not intervene in cement plant case.” The headline should have read: “Mayor prohibited by law and/or court from intervening in cement plant case.”
Throughout the campaign, and at present, I have been personally opposed to the construction of the Cullion [Concrete Corp.] cement plant on Marine Drive. I have stated that the cement plant is not conducive to the surrounding residential neighborhood. It will adversely affect the neighbors’ covenant of quiet enjoyment, increase traffic congestion, be detrimental to air quality, and negatively impact real estate values.
In addition, the cement plant will be in close proximity to the CLCF Building and complex, and the silica that will be produced in the air will be harmful to children and adults who utilize the facility. Moreover, the plant could jeopardize wetland areas and rivers leading to the Bay. Consequently, the cement plant poses a threat to the health and safety of Cranston residents and ultimately adversely affects the quality of life.
Many individuals who live in close proximity to the proposed plant have requested that I revoke the permit which has been issued. Pursuant to R.I. General Laws No. 23-27.3-114.6 entitled, “Revocation of Permits” only the building official may revoke any permit or approval. In addition to the neighbors’ concerns, I believe that the failure to obtain Department of Environmental Management approval, the failure to construct the facility within six months from issuance of the permit, the failure to obtain an extension to build, and the area’s designation as open space on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, gives the building official or his designate ample grounds to revoke the permit, if the law allowed.
R.I. Gen. Laws No. 45-24-65 entitled, “Appeals – Stay of Proceedings” states an appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the zoning enforcement officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Zoning Board of Review that by reason of facts stated in the certificate, a stay would, in the officer’s opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. Upon review of this statute, I immediately ordered the alternate building official and zoning enforcement officer to determine whether the structure posed an imminent peril to life or property. If said structure had posed an imminent peril to life or property, I would expect that the acting building official in the performance of his duties would revoke the permit for public safety. It was determined by the city official that the structure did not pose an imminent peril to life or property. [full text]