Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan to Hold Community Meeting Tomorrow Regarding Off-Campus Housing

Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan will be holding a community meeting on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at 6:00 pm in the basement of St. Pius V Church located at 55 Elmhurst Avenue to discuss the issues surrounding Off-Campus Housing.

“This is a city-wide issue, but it is particularly challenging in the Elmhurst neighborhood,” stated Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, Ward 5. “Since my election, I’ve worked with several different stakeholders to discuss the issues surrounding off-campus collegiate housing. This meeting will bring together the Providence Police Department, city officials, senior leaders from both Providence College and Johnson and Wales University, and concerned neighbors so that we collectively address these challenges. I encourage all area residents to attend this meeting, and share with us your concerns, and how this is affecting your quality of life.”

No stranger to the problems that off-campus housing is causing in the community, Ryan has introduced several different pieces of legislation to address the issue.  In 2015 she hosted public hearings surrounding the issue of too many students living together in homes off-campus.  That meeting led to the Councilwoman introducing an amendment to the zoning ordinance which limited how many students could live in non-owner occupied homes in the R-1 and R-1A zones, and was passed later that year.

Earlier this year, she introduced an ordinance that makes it easier for law enforcement officers to find the source of kegs provided to minors. The ordinance requires more legal responsibility from adults obtaining kegs and codifies a more transparent process for obtaining kegs at liquor stores. The ordinance requires buyers to make a $75 keg deposit, and buyers are also required to sign a document, known as an adult responsibility form, attesting under penalty of perjury that the information they provide for the keg label and other records is accurate. The form also requires keg buyers to attest that they will not allow underage consumption.  The above piece of legislation is now in committee, and she hopes to bring it to the floor for a final vote in early 2018.

Currently, Ryan has an amendment to the Orange Sticker Ordinance being discussed in committee, which she hopes to bring to the floor in early 2018 as well.  Her suggested changes to the penalty phase of the orange sticker ordinance would include:

  • Raising the fine from $100 to $500 for the removal or defacing of the Orange sticker.
  • The enforcement period goes from 6-months to 12-months, with an extension period if another nuisance takes place.
  • It builds in a $500 penalty for any landlord who owns at least two homes that get an orange sticker within a 6-month period.
  • Creates a new set of nuisance activities which can lead to a property being deemed a ‘chronic nuisance.’  Some of these activities are noise violations, disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol by a minor, violation of the State’s social host law, other alcohol-related issues and crimes against the Police.
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