Three public servants – one from the state and two from the city – were recognized last week for the work they have done on projects that will have a profound impact on the city for years to come.
The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association honored city Planning Director William DePasquale Jr., Senior Planner Daniel Geagan and Lisa Primiano, deputy chief of Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Planning and Development.
“We are pleased to recognize the Rocky Point and Warwick Station District projects,” said Melanie Jewett Army, chapter president in a release. “Both of these will have a transformative effect on the community and will have long-lasting, positive community impacts. We also recognize that these were long and arduous projects, with trials and obstacles to overcome. We’re very excited to see them moving forward.”
Last Thursday, Geagan and Primiano received the inaugural 2012 APA Award for Outstanding Public Space Project – making Warwick the first community to receive the honor – for their work to preserve and protect public access to the iconic Rocky Point Park property. For more than a decade, the two have been instrumental in the acquisition, development and future development of the park and have worked diligently with local, state and federal agencies on the project.
“The purchase of the city’s 41 acres of shoreline required coordination among the city, DEM, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, the federal court, the U.S. Small Business Administration and our congressional delegation and, because of the myriad issues surrounding the property, it was a complicated process,” Mayor Scott Avedisian said in a release. “Dan and Lisa have worked to ensure our successful purchase of the property and continue to work together as the state moves forward to preserve and restore the rest of the park.”
Today, the park is heavily used by residents for walking, clamming, fishing, birdwatching and biking. A new walking/biking path along a former trolley line opened last month, expanding pedestrian access to Rocky Point from Warwick Neck Avenue.
“The results of the expertise, commitment and creativity that Lisa Primiano contributes to this state through her work at DEM benefit all of us. I hear consistently from mayors and local officials that, without her know-how and assistance, they could not have created the parks and recreation areas that are beloved in their communities,” said DEM Director Janet Coit in a statement.
“The partnership that Lisa and Dan Geagan, representing the City of Warwick, developed around the effort to protect Rocky Point is another outstanding example of a track record of success. And, in this case, those successes add up to a network of special places that enhance this state and that people enjoy and use every day.”
DePasquale and Geagan received the 2012 APA Award for Outstanding Comprehensive Plan for the Warwick Station Development District: A Transit Oriented Development master plan. Both have been instrumental in the visioning and adoption of the plan, which will guide redevelopment and reuse of the 95 acres surrounding T.F. Green Airport and the InterLink. The plan calls for the creation of a new state growth center and a sustainable, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented community that takes advantage of the tremendous multi-modal benefits in Warwick and provides live/work opportunities with a quarter-mile of the rail station.
DePasquale and Geagan have worked for more than 14 years with a multitude of stakeholders to reestablish the area as one characterized by a truly intermodal, sustainable community. The Master Plan and companion zoning amendments, with strong support from property owners, the local business community, state agencies and the Federal Sustainability Initiative, were unanimously approved by the City Council in January 2012. The project also received a 2012 Outstanding Smart Growth Policies and Plans Award.
“Bill and Dan are to be commended for their perseverance and their commitment to developing a multi-faceted, transit-oriented master plan that will transform the area into a vibrant, unique place that will offer numerous economic development opportunities and job creation along with quality residential developments,” Avedisian said in a statement.
“Bill, Dan and Lisa are very deserving of these awards, and on behalf of the residents of Warwick I thank them for their ongoing commitment to our community,” he said. “Their dedication and vision are helping to further improve the quality of life for Warwick and the state as a whole.”