March 8, 2011
Re: Opposition to Shartner Farms regarding re-zoning of 394-398 Hope Street
Dear Ms. York,
The Fox Point Neighborhood Association, (FPNA), like all other neighborhood associations
faithfully participated in a very long process of public hearings and charettes to help develop
the City of Providence’s Comprehensive Plan. While we didn’t agree on everything,
we worked closely with the Department of Planning & Development to negotiate for
development schemes that preserved Providence’s uniqueness.
The 1890’s landmark that houses Clarke Flowers Shop on Hope Street is a shining example
of what we agreed should be preserved. FPNA concurs with the planning department, who
said that its demolition for “a larger, more intense use is unacceptable to the vision of Mount
While the proposed twelve-car drive-thru is the most “unacceptable” aspect of the
development, demolition of the structure, itself, remains the main issue. Replacing it with
what a Providence Journal editorial called “garish lighting, steroidal “signage” and appalling
architecture set in a sea of parking,” will be more injurious to the neighborhood’s character.
FPNA asks for a ruling that recognizes and supports the public process of government and its
citizenry coming together. In this case as in many others, we agreed that Providence’s best
future could only be attained by preserving its past.
Instead of knocking down a piece of history, Shartner Farms would be wise to utilize it.
Besides preserving a landmark, the company also could build, instead of destroy, brand
loyalty for its products on the East Side. What would be wrong with a reasonably scaled
coffee shop set in a greenhouse atmosphere with room for produce, outdoor seating and
plenty of parking?
Thank you for your time and consideration.