Following another violent weekend during which two men were stabbed outside an Atwells Avenue club on Federal Hill, Sen. Paul V. Jabour is calling for mandatory foot patrols and for a change of zoning for the nationally-renowned dining destination.
“With the Columbus Day festival almost upon us, we need to act now to ensure residents and visitors feel safe on Federal Hill,” said Sen. Jabour (D – Dist. 5, Providence). “As an immediate step, I believe the city should require foot patrols in the Federal Hill area during these busy evening hours, from Thursdays through Sundays. It is imperative that we have officers on the beat to help deter violence such as what took place early Sunday morning, and to swiftly address violence if it happens.”
He continued, “Long term, I am calling for a complete review of zoning along Atwells Avenue, and a change so that the district is for restaurants only. We need to go back to the drawing board and develop a comprehensive land use plan that is consistent with the residential neighborhood and commercial dining for which the area is well known.”
Sen. Jabour suggested zoning the area for dining establishments only, and permitting only very limited entertainment, such as outdoor entertainment, or entertainment within a restaurant by a pianist or other solo musician. Nightclubs and bars should move to more appropriately zoned areas of the city, said Sen. Jabour.
“There are plenty of places in Providence that can accommodate the clubs and taverns that are inappropriate for historic Federal Hill. The city could work with existing businesses to assist them in relocating, such as through tax incentives or other assistance,” said Sen. Jabour. “The people who reside in the Federal Hill neighborhood need to feel safe, and it would be harmful to our economy if visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy the cuisine the city is known for begin to worry about their safety. Urgent action is needed.”
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