WARWICK – Mayor Scott Avedisian and Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit are congratulating three individuals – Warwick Planning Director William DePasquale, Jr., Senior Planner Daniel Geagan and Lisa Primiano, deputy chief of DEM's Division of Planning and Development – whose work is being honored tomorrow night by the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association.
"We are pleased to recognize the Rocky Point and Warwick Station District projects," said Melanie Jewett Army, chapter president. "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."
Geagan and Primiano will receive 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," Avedisian said. "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 Coit. "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 will receive 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 re-development and re-use 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 tirelessly for more than 14 years with a multitude of stakeholders to re-establish 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.
"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."
About the APA
With over 150 members, APA RI is made up of planners at all government levels, private consultants, local planning board members, landscape architects, environmental scientists, lawyers, engineers, professors, students and other professionals dedicated to sound planning principles. APA RI is one of 47 chapters and 20 divisions of the American Planning Association. All told, the APA has over 40,000 members nationwide.