PROVIDENCE – Voters in Providence turned thumbs down on Ballot Proposition 1, a proposal that would have cleared the way for a housing development so large that critics say it would fundamentally change the character of the city.

In Tuesday’s municipal election, Proposition 1 was rejected by a decisive four-to-one margin.

Nearly 40 percent of registered voters in Providence turned out for the municipal election. Of 1,863 ballots cast, nearly 1,500 voted “No” on Proposition 1.

That citizen’s mandate leaves the fate of Phase 2 of the so-called Vineyard Community development at 170 East, 520 North in Providence in doubt.

Phase 1 of the Vineyard community, a mixed density housing complex by Visionary Homes, is already nearing completion in Providence.

Back in March 2019, the Providence City Council unanimously approved the annexation of 22 acres of county land needed to complete Phase 2 of the Vineyard and zoned that property as Life Cycle Residential, allowing for varying types of high density housing.

The goal of Phase 2 of the Vineyard is to build as many homes as possible while keeping the price of those residences as low as possible, according to Jon Williams, a spokesman for Visionary Homes.

But critics of that plan, including Providence City Council member Josh Paulsen, say that Phase 2 of the Vineyard would represent a 20 percent increase in Providence housing in a single development, taxing the city’s infrastructure.

During a recent broadcast interview on KVNU, Paulsen said that a vote against Proposition 1 would send a message from residents to the city to go back to the drawing board and start over when it comes to housing.

Based on Tuesday’s voting, Providence is expected to reverse its decision to annex and rezone the Phase 2 property, returning that 22 acres to county control.

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