2013-11-14 / Front Page

City: Hyatt Marina OK…With Conditions

By Tom Shevlin

The Hyatt has proposed a new 25-slip marina off of Goat Island, featuring a network of floating and fixed piers. The Hyatt has proposed a new 25-slip marina off of Goat Island, featuring a network of floating and fixed piers. The city administration told City Councilors earlier this week that it has no objection to a proposal by the owners of the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island to construct a new 25-slip marina off its northeast shore.

In a Nov. 1 letter to the council, City Manager Jane Howington said that her department “has no objection to the project provided that the recommendations of the Waterfront Commission and Planning Board…are incorporated into the approval.”

Howington also said that the city plans on asking the state Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), which has final say over the project, to hold a hearing in Newport prior to a decision being reached.

Calling for the addition of more than 500 feet of floating docks, a dedicated water sports dock, and 127 feet of touch-andgo space, the proposed Hyatt marina would jut out into the waters off The Point just north of the Goat Island causeway.

Nearby residents had voiced concerns over the project when it was first unveiled, pointing to the potential displacement of four city-owned moorings and navigational complexities that could arise in the area.

But after going before the city’s Planning Board and Waterfront

Commission, the project was deemed to be appropriate for the site, provided that certain provisions are met.

In particular, the Waterfront Commission recommended that the council ask CRMC to require a number of restrictions: most notably, that the proposed dock be reconfigured so as not to interfere with the channel used by boaters to pass under the existing causeway, and that the design be scaled down to reduce the amount of open water covered up.

The commission also recommended that the project include a dedicated public dinghy dock in addition to the touch-and-go facility already planned and that the water sports float be limited to only non-motorized craft such as kayaks and paddleboards.

New channel markings, speed control measures, and ample lighting to alert vessels of the new dock during the construction phase were also requested by the commission.

The Planning Board, meanwhile, asked that the marina be limited to no more than 15 slips and that dockage be allowed only for vessels less than 50 feet in length so as to “prevent traffic congestion and promote orderly growth and safety in the habor.”

The CRMC is expected to take up the proposal in full – and in Newport – in the coming weeks.

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