Among the most comprehensive of the municipal impact review laws, this proposed ordinance in Cranston, Rhode Island, would apply to all development projects involving retail stores of 75,000 square feet or more. It stipulates that these projects must undergo an independent economic impact analysis. After reviewing the analysis and taking comment at a public hearing, city officials must determine whether the project would have an undue adverse impact on the local economy. If they find that it would, then they must reject it.
The proposed measure requires that the impact analysis evaluate the project’s likely effect on existing businesses, retail vacancy rates, jobs, wages and benefits, and public services.
Councilor Anthony J. Lupino introduced the ordinance and said he was inspired to do so by the widespread public opposition to a big-box development.
Rhode Island’s third largest city, Cranston is home to about 80,000 people and is located just south of Providence.