Concrete Plant Battle Wages On

I had a conversation with Frank Mattiucci, President of Cranston Citizens for Responsible Zoning and Development (link here). It looks like Cullion is going to try to build the concrete plant anyway. They are resubmitting for a permit from the Department of Environmental Management for the state, despite that their last permit was denied because of the project’s proximity to the wetlands, a circumstance which I don’t believe is going to change in their resubmitted application. There is some talk of forming a lake back there (to drain off water from the wetlands, presumably).

Mayor Napolitano’s promise to the people of Ward 2 was that if he was elected, he would pull the permit. People are hoping the Mayor will speak up with news of this any day.

In the meantime, some of us have contacted Senator Reed’s office and asked him to please keep a close eye on this issue as it moves forward. This is about communities being able to protect themselves from industrial encroachment. It’s about ensuring that our water supply is not polluted. It’s about keeping to a minimum the toxic dust in residential areas where our families live and our children go to school.

There are things that can be done to make this corporation and its many lawyers, Democratic and Republican, go away. We hope the city is investigating these options diligently.

From the CCRZD President:

Superior Court:

2/12/07 – Cullion will present and defend a motion in Superior Court. This motion seeks to bypass the Cranston Zoning Board of review on the grounds that the Zoning Board is too biased to make a judgment in Cullion’s case. More importantly, Cullion & Co. will be moving to have the automatic stay (which prevents further construction of the concrete plant) lifted if the Court decides to override the Cranston Zoning Board – in other words construction could resume until Superior Court decides the building permit appeal [which could in fact take years while the concrete plant is completed and possibly allowed to operate.]

Cranston Zoning Board:

2/28 Cranston Zoning Board will meet to review CCRZD’s appeal of the Cullion permit. Through our lawyer, we are preparing to present our appeal to the Zoning Board with testimony and “expert witnesses.”

~~~ We need you at this meeting in support ~~~


Cullion Concrete Corporation has applied again for a permit from DEM (Application # 06-0557 )under “Karleetor , LLC.” Their extension of the original permit was not granted. If their modified 2nd permit application is granted, our case will be set back substantially.

However, the DEM process is a lengthy 2-step Application which will allow input. You are all encouraged to immediately write the DEM Director: Dr. W. Michael Sullivan. [contact info. below] Strongly voice opposition to this application. You should also request that the current 50% completed structure be issued a permanent cease and desist order and DEM require Karleetor/Cullion to return the construction site to its former state. All such construction occurred without any DEM approval to alter wetlands at all. It goes without saying that the Governor and local state reps and senators should hear your voices on this issue as loudly as possible.

Mayor Michael Napolitano:

While campaigning, Mr. Napolitano stated he was against the concrete plant.

Why is this battle still going on? Why hasn’t he instructed the building inspector to revoke the permit?


We hope that a majority of you will contact the Mayor and DEM. In addition, a letter to the editor of the Cranston Herald and/or The Providence Journal would be effective.

The sooner you write the better. Letters should be in the mail by Saturday February 10th. We are up against the deadline dates above.

Below are some guidelines as well as contact information


Writing to your Mayor, Department of Environmental Management, Local Politicians and Newspapers

Make 2 copies: Please send us a copy of your letter(s) so that we may reference the number of complaints &, keep one for your records.

Talking Points

Mayor & Local Politicians

Ask to revoke the building permit granted to Karleetor/Cullion Concrete Corporation.

Rationale: Such a plant would place your family’s health and safety at risk, lower property values, create more traffic congestion on Pontiac Ave. and abutting streets, reduce air quality, significantly increase noise pollution and jeopardize a wetlands area and two rivers leading to the bay. The permit was rushed through just days before new plants were banned citywide.

Department of Environmental Management [D.E.M.]

Note the flooding, construction debris in surface water, the proximity to the Pocasset River, Pawtuxet River and eventual discharge into Narragansett Bay. Assert knowledge of the harm and damage a concrete plant can cause: emission of crystalline silica, concrete truck and plant cleaning runoff, etc.

Ask to issue a cease and desist order, require Karleetor/Cullion to tear down the structures, ask to reject any permit modification or new permit application requests and ask for a hearing.


Express how this plant personally impacts you and your family. Use items from above where appropriate.


Michael Napolitano
Cranston City Hall
869 Park Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island 02910 780-3113 (Fax)

Dr. W. Michael Sullivan, PHD, Director
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908-5767

Mr. Dean Albro, Chief (401) 222-3811 (Fax)
Office of Compliance and Inspection

Mr. Charles A. Horbert, (401) 222-6177 (Fax)
Permitting Supervisor Office of Water Resources

Contact the Newspapers:

Cranston Herald
c/o Beacon Communications
1944 Warwick Avenue
Warwick, RI 02889 (401)732-3110 (Fax)

The Providence Journal
75 Fountain St.
Providence, RI 02902
Editorials 401-277-7439 (Fax)

3 thoughts on “Concrete Plant Battle Wages On

  1. Why hasn’t the mayor instructed the inspector’s office to revoke the permit? Cranston certainly has it’s fill of elected and appointed empty suits.

    It’s a shame that our officials allow issues like this and Domestic Bank’s encroachment in the Forest Hills neighborhood to fester.

  2. We’ll see how this goes. Maybe the Mayor will have some good news for people at the meeting on the 22nd at 7 pm. Here are the details about that meeting, by the way:

    There will be a public meeting of the CCRZD on Thursday Feb. 22 7:00 PM at the Auburn Post on Legion Way (behind City Hall) Mayor Napolitano has promised to be there.

    This will be an update following the court hearing on Monday 2/12 and a planning session for the Zoning Board hearing Wednesday 2/28.

  3. Kiersten:

    A quick update:

    Judge Indeglia ruled yesterday (Monday 2.12) that the ZBR can — and must — consider the application, over the objections of the Cullion lawyers.

    (In a stunning bit of irony, Cullion is represented by failed mayoral candidate John Mancini, who ran in 04. Funny how he’s defending a Laffey decision after trying to unseat him two years ago.)

    Indeglia also provided two specific and clearly defined options for the City Council — 1.) get an Ethics Commission ruling that would allow one of the board members to rule on the permit, and 2.) request enabling legislation through the General Assembly that would allow the Council to add a 3rd alternate member to the board so that a quorum can be formed and a vote taken.

    Council President Garabedian will be taking both paths — expect to see City Hall post a notice today for a special City Council meeting to be held Thursday night 2.14 at 5:45 pm. At this meeting, the council is expected to draft a resolution seeking both remedies.

    What this will accomplish is proper oversight and review of the building permit, which was issued improperly. From what I understand, the previous City Hall staffers did not follow the charter-required steps for approval. Mr. Garabedian has been saying this all along, and given Cullion’s humiliating loss in court yesterday, his viewpoint is almost certain to prevail.

    The plant may very well be dead by the time ZBR meets.

    Stay tuned.

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