2014-01-10 / Front Page

Board Prolongs Decision

By Tom Shevlin

With the evening’s most sensitive issue on hold for a future date, the city’s Zoning Board of Review made quick work of a relatively light docket on Monday, Jan. 6.

For the third month, an appeal by the Preservation Society of Newport County over the decision by the Historic District Commission to deny their plan to construct a visitor’s center on the grounds of The Breakers was continued at the board’s request.

According to Zoning Officer Guy Weston, the board is currently still waiting to receive a formal response to the appeal that was made on behalf of the Preservation Society in the wake of the HDC decision.

Turner Scott, an attorney for the Ochre Point Bellevue Avenue Neighborhood Association, has until Jan. 17 to submit his response to the arguments laid out in the Preservation Society’s appeal, Weston said.

“At that point, the board may choose to hear the matter,” he said. “Or, they could decide they need another month to review all of the information.”

Whenever the issue comes before them, it’s expected to be the board’s most high-profile case in years. And depending on the outcome, it’s possible that the saga over the controversial visitor’s center will continue on through the court system.

On Monday, the board took on a slew of slightly lower profile cases.

In all, six applications were approved, including two requests for dimensional variances to install standby generators, an increasingly common request since Hurricane Irene left much of the region without power for several days in 2011.

Also receiving approval was a petition by Joanne Breyer, whose request to construct a single-car garage, new lap pool, and a 330-sq. ft. rear deck addition at 138 Webster St. was approved in its entirety.

So too was a petition by the owners of 30 Mooreland Rd., whose request to construct a new covered porch and two balconies received easy approval from the board.

Meanwhile, a request by Stephen Baker to construct a new two-story entryway addition at 13 ½ Fair St., just off Lower Thames, was also approved.

In other news, a request to construct a new structure on Roseneath Avenue on a property known as Rosehill Cottage was withdrawn.

The Zoning Board is due to meet next on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.

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