Monday, October 24, 2016        

 Department of Planning and Economic Development

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips
Town Planner

FUNCTION:  The responsibility of the Department of Planning and Economic Development is to work with municipal departments, Town boards and commissions, local businesses and the public at large to develop and implement short and long range planning and economic development projects and initiatives. The Department works to facilitate positive social change and assist the community in developing and implementing its vision.

Specifically, the Department of Planning and Economic Development prepares the Community Development Block Grant Program application, reviews land development project proposals, prepares the Comprehensive Economic Strategy Report, and maintains the Comprehensive Community Plan.

In addition, the Department is the clearinghouse for data and research for planning projects and community land use information. The Department also provides staff support to the Planning Board, Economic Development Commission and Local Advisory Boards, and provides technical assistance to the Land Trust and Conservation Commission. The professional planning staff of the Department provides direct staff assistance to the Town Manager and Town Council when needed.

Documents & Helpful Links


Comprehensive Community Plan
(.pdf document, 52.7 MB, 337 pages)

adopted-comp-plan-1The Smithfield Town Council adopted the Comprehensive Community Plan as recommended by the Planning Board on May 3, 2016.   

The Plan focuses on the following eight plan elements with an Implementation section:

Land Use
Housing, including affordable housing,
Economic Development,
Community Services and Facilities,
Natural Resources,
Cultural Resources
Conservation, Open Space, and Recreation, and

State approval of the plan is pending. A copy of the plan is available for review in the Planning Department at Town Hall, or in .pdf format, by clicking the image or link above.



Community Development Block Grant Program

The Town of Smithfield applies annually to the State of Rhode Island for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds issued through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The state administered Small Cities CDBG program awards grants to smaller units of general local government that carry out community development activities. Annually, each State develops funding priorities and criteria for selecting projects. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities, urban counties and states to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

One CDBG program that the Planning Department administers is the Smithfield Housing Rehabilitation Program

Smithfield Cluster Strategy – Rt.7/116 Corridor
Report – Presentation

Traffic Impact & Access Study – Proposed Putnam Pike Commercial Development (.pdf 6 MB)

Economic Development Commission web page

Corridor Access Management Plan
Note: large file: 28.9MB – right click, choose “save as”

Planning Board Application For Review

2016 Application Closing Dates and Monthly Meeting Dates for the Planning Board

Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations including Checklists
(Amended: June 27, 2013) 

Current Land Development and Subdivision Projects
Updated online 10-6-2016

Some ongoing Department projects include:

Deerfield Park Phase II Development
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Greenspace Plan
Smithfield Greenspace Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn about pending land development projects in Smithfield?
You can contact the Planning Department. The Department maintains files on every land development project submitted for review and Planning Board approval.

What is the Planning Board and when does it meet?
The Planning Board is a nine member, Town Council appointed volunteer board that reviews land development projects such housing development projects.

Can the Planning Department assist me if I want to relocate my business to Smithfield or want to learn about economic development projects?
Yes. One role of the Department of Planning and Economic Development is to work with new businesses that want to relocate to Smithfield as well as assist existing businesses in Town become more competitive. The Department provides outreach through the Economic Development Commission.

Fair Housing

The Town of Smithfield is committed to observing local and federal Fair Housing Laws. For further information on eliminating housing discrimination and promoting open communities throughout the region, please visit the following websites:

Fair Housing Rhode Island
The Housing Network of RI
The Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission
The Rhode Island Housing Commission for Human Rights
Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) publication, 39 Steps Toward Fair Housing


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