UPDATED: Prov Councilman Taken To Hospital, Fane Veto Override Vote Postponed

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


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The Providence City Council postponed the vote Tuesday afternoon to override Mayor Jorge Elorza's veto on the variance request for Jason Fane's 46 story tower on the 195 land in Providence, after Councilman Wilbur Jennings was taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon. 

According to Providence Councilman Luis Aponte, Jennings was taken to the hospital by his wife. Councilman Seth Yurdin was also absent, setting up a vote for Thursday. 

The meeting was continued until Thursday pending Jennings recovery.

Opposition Vocal Leading Up to Vote

The Providence Preservation Society - along with other community groups -- urged project opponents to contact city council members to urge them not to vote for the override. 

Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Neighbors 4 Revitalization, and the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project released the following statement prior to the vote on Tuesday -- urging Harris not to vote for the override. 

While the State and other City Councilors fall for the pipe dream rhetoric that any development is good development, many of our families have to decide whether to eat or pay rent. Families are working overtime to pay for rent increases, mothers looking for stability are being priced out of “affordable” housing developments because they don’t have enough income, homeless youth cannot access resources and are forced into dangerous and unstable conditions. The discussion of the proposed tower cannot be separated from these stories. 

We refuse to accept arguments made by city councilors that future developers will flee Providence if we demand community benefits from Fane. Nor can we continue to abide the argument that we must build luxury housing downtown in order to keep the rich from buying up housing in our neighborhoods. Wealthy developers and real estate investors have proven time and again that they will buy, sell, and occupy whatever they can get their hands on. Only regulations like community benefits agreements will ensure that low-income families in communities of color see justice and equity from economic development.  

Over the last 30 years, we have seen the impact that Downtown development has on South Side and West End neighborhoods. Millions of dollars in the form of tax stabilization agreements are given to developers without guarantee that their projects will have tangible benefits for those in our communities. As these projects are built, the homeless are criminalized and pushed out of Downtown into our neighborhoods rather than being provided the support and opportunities such development is supposed to offer. Meanwhile, our housing stock ages, housing prices continue to rise, and long-term residents in our neighborhoods continue to struggle. We know that luxury development has not helped fix the problems our communities face. 

This story was updated at 5:00 AM on 12/12/25


Related Slideshow: Fane Unveils New Design for Tower


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