Planning & Development

The Wrong Foot for Cranston's Transit Oriented District

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by Josh Wood Tuesday May 26, 2009

As the steel rises on a former Hostess Bakery site, our curiosity rises as well. Because this new project falls within the boundaries of the area targeted for a Transit-Oriented District, I’ve gotten some emails asking whether this project is the first phase of a commuter rail station. One commenter did some sleuthing and discovered that the new structure is just a self-storage facility. Jason Pezzullo, Principal Planner for the city, has confirmed our fears. The new structure at 604 Park Avenue is a three story self-storage facility.

Self-storage is an incompatible use in Transit-Oriented Districts. In fact, Massachusetts puts self-storage in its list of TOD prohibited uses as suggested in its TOD toolkit, along with auto sales, gasoline sales, golf courses, cemeteries, and warehouses among other things.

While Pezzullo didn’t sound pleased about location of the self-storage facility, he noted that the approval of the plan was given during a time when the land in question was slated for industrial use under the comprehensive plan.

Here’s an excerpt from the minutes of the Planning Commission Meeting minutes of May 6, 2008: Zoning Review

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