Corvese sponsors bill to aid housing development
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Arthur Corvese is the sponsor of one of the bills introduced as part of House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi’s package of legislation to address Rhode Island’s housing crisis.
Representative Corvese’s bill (2023-H 6086), which is scheduled for a hearing before the House Municipal Government and Housing Committee Thursday, standardizes and updates the way notice is provided for all land use permitting. The legislation would ensure that whenever changes are proposed to a local comprehensive plan or regulations or zoning, or a subdivision is proposed, public notice of all hearings and actions must be provided on the home page of the municipal website; in postings at the town or city clerk’s office and at least one other municipal building; by advertisements in a local newspaper; and by First-Class Mail.
Current law requires that newspaper advertising be done in newspapers of “general” circulation, rather than those that are local to the area. Current law also requires that abutter notices be mailed by registered or certified mail. The bill would allow the use of First-Class Mail, provided the sender gets a certificate of mailing as evidence.
The changes are meant to help smooth the housing development process by making all the public notification requirements standard, modern and effective.
“One of the greatest factors contributing to our state’s housing crisis is that the pace of housing development is slow and not keeping up with demand. Making the process less cumbersome is one effort that will help to encourage development and keep it moving forward. This bill provides simpler, standard requirements about how the public should be kept informed along the way, and ensures that all notices are easy to find on the town’s website by anyone who is interested,” said Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence). “The proposed changes better ensure that the local community is informed, without undue costs or burdensome efforts by municipalities or developers.”
The legislation is part of the 14-bill housing package announced March 2 by Speaker Shekarchi to encourage housing production. The legislation stems from two House commissions that have been meeting over the course of the last two years to identify and address the barriers to the state’s efforts to meet low- and moderate-income housing needs and to study all aspects of land use and development.