§ 42-64.14-8. Additional general powers.
In addition to the powers of the commission otherwise provided herein, the commission shall have the powers set forth below and shall be subject to the limitations herein set forth. Except as may be expressly limited by action of the commission at a regular or special meeting, the commission shall have the powers necessary to put into effect the powers of the commission as set forth below and as herein limited.
(a) The commission is authorized and empowered to fix, revise, charge, collect, and abate fees, rates, assessments, delinquency charges, and other charges for its services, and other services, facilities, and commodities furnished or supplied by it, including penalties for violations of such regulations as the commission may from time to time promulgate under this chapter. Fees, rates, assessments, delinquency charges, and other charges of general application shall be adopted and revised by the commission in accordance with procedures to be established by the commission for assuring that interested persons are afforded notice and an opportunity to present data, views, and arguments. The commission shall hold at least one public hearing on its schedule of fees, rates, and charges or any revision thereof prior to adoption, notice of which shall be published in a newspaper of substantial circulation in the district at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the hearing, and notice of the hearing shall be provided to the city council of the city of Providence. No later than the date of such publication the commission shall make available to the public the proposed schedule of fees, rates, and charges. Fees, rates, rents, assessments, abatements, and other charges established by the commission shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any department, division, district, board, bureau, or agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions. In order to provide for the collection and enforcement of its fees, rates, rents, assessments, and other charges, the commission is hereby granted all the powers and privileges with respect to such collection and enforcement held by the city of liens for unpaid taxes. Provided however that the commission shall be required to collect all project application fees, zoning fees and charges, building permit fees, fire code compliance or other public safety permit fees or charges, planning fees, historic district fees and charges, and other similar fees and charges that would otherwise be payable to the city of Providence in connection with such projects located in the city of Providence and remit the greater of one-half (1/2) of such fees collected by the commission to the city of Providence, or one-half (1/2) of such fees the city of Providence would have received from the project under the city's ordinances uniformly applied. The city of Providence shall continue to be entitled to collect all other customary fees for development and maintenance within the district as uniformly applied throughout the city of Providence, including, but not limited to, utility tie-in, connection fees, maintenance fees and assessments.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in order to provide for the consolidated, coordinated, efficient, and effective exercise of public development powers affecting or benefiting the city of Providence and the state within the boundaries of the district as defined in § 37-5-8, the commission shall have the powers of:
(1) A special development district as provided for in chapter 24.4 of title 45;
(2) A redevelopment agency as provided for in chapters 31, 31.1, 31.2, 32, and 33 of title 45 within areas of the district that are part of an enterprise zone as provided for in chapter 64.3 of this title. Within the district, the term "blighted area and substandard area" shall be deemed to include areas where the presence of hazardous materials, as defined in § 23-19.14-2, impairs the use, reuse, or redevelopment of impacted sites;
(3) A municipal public buildings authority as provided for in chapter 50 of title 45;
(4) A subsidiary of the Rhode Island commerce corporation and the enactment of this chapter shall constitute the approval of the general assembly as required by § 42-64-7.1;
(5) The city planning board as established pursuant to chapter 23 of title 45;
(6) The city zoning board as established pursuant to chapter 24 of title 45, including, but not limited to, the granting of any use or dimensional variances or special use permits;
(7) The city historic district commission established pursuant to chapter 24.1 of title 45;
(8) Any other city board existing or created that exercises any of the authorities of a planning board, zoning board, design review board or historic district commission;
(9) A special economic development district as provided for in chapter 24.6 of title 45.
(c) For the benefit of the district, the commission shall have the power to enter into agreements with the city of Providence for:
(1) The exercise of powers for tax increment financing as provided for in chapter 33.2 of title 45;
(2) The imposition of impact fees as provided for in chapter 22.4 of title 45 in order to provide infrastructure capacity to or make physical improvements within the district; or
(3) Approval within the district of a district management authority as provided for in chapter 59 of title 45, for purposes of undertaking activities consistent with the approved plans for the district adopted pursuant to this section.
(d) Title and survey adjustments. The commission is authorized to adjust boundary lines, survey lines and property descriptions of the parcels of land comprising the I-195 surplus land as may be necessary or appropriate to facilitate or enhance project design plans and for the location and/or relocation of city streets, utility corridors, easements and rights-of-way.
(e) The commission is authorized and empowered, in the name of and for the state of Rhode Island, to enter into contracts for the sale, transfer or conveyance, in fee simple, by lease or otherwise of the any of the I-195 surplus lands identified in § 37-5-8 in order to achieve the purposes of this chapter and customary terms for commercial real estate transactions of this nature, and containing the following provisions:
(1) The terms for each parcel shall be the fair market value of such parcel at the time of conveyance as determined by the commission.
(2) As a condition to the sale, lease or other transfer of each parcel or any portion thereof, any buyer, tenant or transferee that is a not-for-profit, organization or entity that is otherwise exempt from municipal real estate taxes, including, without limitation, any independent public instrumentality, governmental or quasi-governmental agency, body, division, or official, or any affiliate or subsidiary thereof, shall have entered into an agreement for payments to the city in accordance with § 42-64.14-14 relating to tax-exempt parcels, or such other things acceptable to the city.
(3) Promptly after taking title to a parcel, the buyer shall cause such parcel to be attractively landscaped and maintained for use as green space until such time as development of the parcel in accordance with this section begins.
(4) Development of the parcels, as appropriate, shall be in accordance with the findings set forth in this chapter and with the buyer's approved development plan for the identified parcels, as the same may be amended from time to time with the approval of the commission.
(5) As a condition to the contract for the sale, lease, transfer or conveyance an approved development plan shall include a construction schedule that shall commence within twelve (12) months from the effective date of the contract and all construction shall be complete within three (3) years from the commencement of said construction unless otherwise amended and approved by the commission at a duly posted public meeting of the commission.
(6) [Deleted by P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 12, § 9].
(f) Under no circumstances shall the commission establish, authorize, zone, plan, or permit in the district a so-called "casino" or any form of gambling, including but not limited to those activities governed by title 41 of the Rhode Island general laws, so-called "video-gambling" or any lotteries whatsoever except for the sale of lottery tickets pursuant to chapter 61 of this title of the general laws. Furthermore, upon conveyance, but in any event before approving any project, development, or redevelopment, the commission shall ensure that a deed restriction, running to the benefit of the city of Providence and the state, is recorded against the subject property effectuating and memorializing such restriction. The aforementioned restriction shall run with the land and be binding upon all successors and assign. Any deed restriction conveyed to the state pursuant to this subsection may be waived only by statute, resolution or other action by the general assembly that complies with the constitutional requirements for the expansion of gambling.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 245, § 3; P.L. 2011, ch. 267, § 3; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 12, § 9.)