The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, January 28 at 4:45pm to discuss plans for a McDonald's and a Family Dollar in Olneyville. The meeting will be in the first floor conference room at 444 Westminster Street. The heart of the matter is a developer's plan for the currently vacant parcel at 48 Plainfield Street. The plan has aroused criticism and controversy because the developer is asking for zoning relief that would allow for the buildings to be set back further from the street than is currently allowed, and for the McDonald's to have a drive-through. Critics argue that this is suburban-style development being shoehorned into a dense urban area. With lower rates of car ownership by Olneyville residents than in most of the rest of the city, the question becomes whether this car-friendly development is serving the neighborhood, or excluding the people who actually live in it. The full plans can be seen here, and Greater City Providence has been following the story pretty closely. If you're interested in learning more, or voicing your opinion on the plan, be sure to attend what should be a lively meeting.
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