2017-11-30 / Around Town

Newport Zoning Board of Appeals

By Bob Rulli

With only five board members present, which just met the quorum requirement, the Newport Zoning Board of Appeals was faced with another full docket at its Nov. 27 meeting. With Christopher Kirwin acting as Board Chair in the absence of the current Chair, Rebecca McSweeney, 29 continued or new petitions were before the board.

Sixteen petitions were moved to the Jan. 2 or Jan. 22 meetings, while two matters were heard through the abbreviated summary process, which requires little testimony from the applicants, their attorneys or experts. There were no written objections and no objectors present at the hearing.

The board approved petitions to convert an existing dwelling at 515 Spring St. into a two-bedroom guest house, and to remove and relocate a deck for a property at 46 Weaver St.

A petition to construct a second floor deck and stairway for the property at 425 Thames St. received three votes of support. However, four affirmative votes are needed for a petition to pass.

Several high-interest matters will be on the board’s agenda after the first of the year, including the proposed hotel on Broadway next to the Fifth Element restaurant, and a petition to demolish the former Asterisk’s restaurant property at 599 Thames St. and convert it into a three-story, two-family dwelling with third and fourth floor decks. Both matters will be heard at the Jan. 2 meeting.

Petitions from Salve Regina University to construct two new dormitories on campus will be heard at the Jan. 22 meeting, as will a petition to add a 735-square-foot deck to The Backyard Restaurant, located at 151 Swinburne Row.

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