November 14th @ 6pm Free Public Forum – City of Newport Commissions

Your voice, your community, your opinion matters! Join us for a lively discussion of important issues affecting Newport, Rhode Island residents, neighborhoods, friends and family.

Alliance for a Livable Newport
– Free Public Forum –
City of Newport Commissions

“I don’t think I’m interested in Newport’s Historic District Commission or its Zoning Board of Review.”

Think again!

  • If you own or are thinking of buying property in Newport’s Historic District…
  • If you are thinking about possibly changing the use of your Newport property or altering its outside appearance ….
  • If you own a business anywhere in the city…
  • If you live in an area where a change in zoning might occur…

You SHOULD be interested in learning more about:

1)   the Historic District Commission
2)   the Zoning Board of Review

The Alliance for a Livable Newport will present the second in a series of public forums featuring Newport’s various Boards and Commissions.

The panel discussion will be followed by questions from the audience.

Questions may be sent in advance to:

To learn more about The City of Newport Boards and Commissions <click here>

The panel will feature:

  • Rebecca McSweeney, Chair of theZoning Board of Review
  • John Shehan, Chair of theHistoric District Commission 
  • Matt Weintraub, Historic Planner for the City of Newport

For additional information on ALN or this Forum, contact: Isabel Griffith – Office of the President –

Did you know that all ALN Public Forums are video taped and available publicly for viewing at any time? <click here to view the archive>

Bring a neighbor, tell a friend!

Please join us!


Thursday, November 14
6:00 – 7:30pm


Newport Public Library
Program Room
300 Spring Street
Newport, RI 02840

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ALN public forum – Newport Daily News article Oct. 31, page 1

Neighbors air concerns over plan for marina

By Sean Flynn  Staff writer Newport Daily News

newport_daily_newsNEWPORT — A new 25-slip marina the Hyatt Regency Newport hotel is proposing to build northeast of Goat Island would have floating docks 100 to 150 feet offshore so as not to interfere with the eelgrass beds along the shoreline, according to the marina’s designer.  SEE the FORUM VIDEO HERE

Gus Kreuzkamp, owner and master engineer of Harbor Engineering LLC of Barrington, presented the marina plans to more than two dozen people who gathered at the Newport Public Library Wednesday night for a forum sponsored by the Alliance for a Livable Newport. Most of those who attended are residents of the Point, the neighborhood just opposite the proposed marina site. Bart Dunbar, who lives on Bridge Street, brought up the eelgrass buffer zone because he believes the marina would “stick out egregiously into public waters.”

The state Coastal Resources Management Council “could allow the marina closer to shore above the eelgrass,” Dunbar said. It depends on how many people on the council are “eelgrass supporters,” he said.

Kreuzkamp disagreed. The project requires both federal and state approval, he said. In his discussions with a representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was clear “there is no way to get floats over an eelgrass area,” he said. “It’s a non-starter to do anything over or near eelgrass. The National Marine and Fisheries Service is very protective of these fields.”

Eelgrass beds serve as nurseries for many species of economically important fish and shellfish.

Kreuzkamp and Bob Lacasse, the Hyatt’s general manager, heard neighborhood concerns and fielded questions for close to two hours at the forum. They met privately two weeks ago with residents of the Point to make sure they knew the hotel will not permit Jet Skis, cigar boats, parasailing or loud parties at the marina because they would disturb hotel guests as well as nearby residents. 

Lacasse emphasized that point during the forum.

“Our clients want to get out of New York and enjoy the tranquility of Newport,” he said. “They do not want to run into cigar boats here.”

The marina would provide potential clients with docking space for their yachts, he said.

“All we are looking for is an on opportunity to increase our business,” he said.

The marina plans were presented this month to the city’s Waterfront Commission and the Planning Board. The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the plans at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Isabel Griffith, president of the Alliance for a Livable Newport, said the Planning Board has recommended the number of slips be reduced from 25 to 15 and that there be a public dinghy dock at the marina.

“The two boards approved the plan with reservations, limitations and recommendations,” she said. Councilman Justin S. McLaughlin said the council would receive the reports of the Waterfront Commission and the Planning Board, and make its own recommendations on what requirements and conditions should be imposed on the proposed marina.

“It is unlikely the council would vote against the proposal,” he said. Ward 1 Councilman Marco T. Camacho, who represents the area that would be impacted by the marina, also was present at the forum and responded to residents’ concerns. While the Coastal Resources Management Council will take the city’s recommendations into consideration, it is CRMC that will make the final decision, the council members said.

The council and City Manager Jane Howington will be requesting that CRMC hold a public hearing on the proposal in Newport, McLaughlin said.

The earliest the marina would be open for business would be the boating season of 2015, Kreuzkamp said.

Some residents of the Point were concerned about the size of the boats that would be docked at the marina. The Hyatt’s plan showed the outline of two 100-foot-long boats at the outer dock. The Planning Board is recommending boat lengths be limited to 50 feet, Griffith said.

The city maintains a mooring field offshore of Goat Island, and four of the moorings will be relocated, as agreed to by Newport Harbor master Tim Mills, Kreuzkamp said, so there is at least a 150-foot channel between the docked boats and the mooring field. From the edge of the easternmost dock to the mooring field would be 194 feet. Boats would be tied parallel to the dock so they would not interfere with the channel, he said.

Some residents were concerned about fueling operations at the marina. Lacasse said no fueling would be allowed.

Others were concerned about possible sewage spills from the boats, since people swim, kayak and paddleboard from the piers along the Point shoreline. Kreuzkamp said there would be an efficient pump-out station at the marina and modern boats are designed to avoid such spills.

Not all Point residents present were opposed to the marina plan.

John Shea, president of the Driftwood Condominium Association, said “most of the condo owners are in favor of the marina.” The condominiums are on the waterfront near the Elm Street Pier and face the Hyatt.

“We’d love to see the company make that shoreline more appealing,” he said.

Lauren Carson, a resident of the Point and a member of the city’s Energy and Environment Commission, said the marina should be a “green.”

“I’d love to see this become a sustainable marina,” she said.

Lacasse and Kreuzkamp said that is their goal as well.

“Absolutely,” Kreuzkamp said.



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Video of Public Forum proposed Hyatt Marina + Detailed Engineering Plans


20131010_Hyatt Dock_Presentation Set < click to download Hyatt Marina Engineering Drawings, design, plans


Hyatt Marina Proposal from Alliance for Livable Newport on Vimeo.


Proposed Goat Island Hyatt Hotel Marina October 2013 

Preliminary Design, Details, Drawings for your review

The images shown below illustrate the plans for a new marina filed by the Hyatt Hotel on Goat Island. These development plans and proposals have been or will be shared with various officials, groups, organizations, departments and individuals including:

  • The Waterfront Commission
  • The Planning Board
  • Newport Harbormaster

At those meetings, questions are answered and comments offered about the appropriateness of the facility.

The ALN Public Forum on October 30 – 6:00 to 7:30pm at the Newport Public Library will provide an opportunity for the public to see these plans, drawings, designs and images, make comments, and have their questions answered by members of the Hyatt Hotel administration and staff.


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Needed: wise Newport citizens willing to serve on Newport Zoning Board of Review

There is an immediate opening on the Zoning Boardand only one candidate currently available.

  • There are openings coming up on several other Newport boards & commissions.
  • Anyone who has served on a Newport board, this is a rewarding exercise in citizenship, as well as a good way of learning more about how our City functions, and about all of its neighborhoods.
  • Please consider the need for wise heads on the Zoning Board, and either volunteer or spread the word.
  • Board and Commission members are appointed by the City Council and applications are handled through the Mayor’s Office.
  • Contact Raphe Sciola to learn more at 845-5437 or email: .
  • The application form is also available on the City’s website: .

March Survey Question #3 “Affordable Housing”

Scroll down to see all survey responses…


Unless the $40-60,000 family is capable of putting a significant downpayment, their income will be stretched to the breaking point by mortgage, property tax, utilities and general maintenance.
If the average price for a home in Newport is $350,000 there should be plenty of homes for less than that…some even in the $150,000 range, affordable on an income of $50,000. True, a family would have to save up for the down payment.
I suspect this is true. It is a combination of market values, and tighter loan rules. At the higher end of this range it is possible to buy something for less than 300,000 but the available stock in that range is limited.
It is the american dream to own a home, there will be a way to purchase a home if someone is willing work and save.
They may not be able to choose any neighborhood, but there are affordable properties. Still less affordable than neighboring towns.
But there already is enough “affordable” and low income housing in Newport already…the highest proportion in the State…18%. The average wage owner with kids probably doesn’t look for housing in Newport because of the poor schools.
Why ask me? Ask the people with children who make between 40-60K and would like to buy a home in Newport.
The City Council should have listened to the City Manager.
Coupled with a declining economy in this state this is definitely a problem. Currently if able to qualify for financing this income group can buy in Newport but if housing prices do not increase here many will lose on their biggest investment.
With this income and children I don’t think what might be afforable would be large enough for the family.
The cost of home in Newport has gone crazy. Also there are not enough good paying jobs that would allow a family starting out t oafford a home. Add that to the requirement for a 20% down payment it puts them right out of the market.
The council should continue to adopt policies that enable home ownership at all income levels. This city has enough junky multi-unit rental stock. Do council members really want families? Or is this simply a throw-a-way line to garner votes? If you want families, then make *some* housing more affordable.
It is true all over RI, and especially on Aquidneck Island and any area near the ocean. RI needs more skilled job opportunities so that its work force can survive and stay here.
Yes I think this is probably true for most of Newport. Having children and home ownership are financial decisions that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I would say yes because I would think he has done his homework and can back up those numbers. Would like to see the breakdown.
Of course it’s true. The city is getting more and more divided between the haves and have nots.Their are at least 7 low income housing projects in Newport and the city is overloaded with section 8 familys. If you live in Newport and don’t know that than it’s time to open those eyes. You always hear “out of towners” saying that Newport is “just for the rich” to live here. They can’t believe it when you tell them about all the low income housing here. So people need to stop trying to think Newport is affordable for the 40 to 60 thousand family, because it’s not.
Housing, including real estate taxes and in general many costs in Newport are above the state average. We are an island community and that is part of the reason. What we shoud consider is targeted housing supporting the service industry in town, such as police, fire, teachers and the hospitality and tourism workers, they are the backbone of the community and we need to keep people interested in these jobs here, otherwise we will not be successful in those key industries that bring much to the community and those who provide gov’t based serices for us.
I was very upset that the City Council did not support Church Community Housing to get that bridge loan to buy a property and make it available to a moderate income family.
The city should be encouraging and supporting programs like the ones that Church Community Housing does in our community. We need to do all we can to keep a balanced mix of moderate and middle income households in Newport. The middle class and those not eligible for section 8 housing are getting squeezed out of Newport buy the overpriced housing market.
We need more affordable housing.
I THINK that is true, but I don’t know the current range of house prices in town. This is actually a factual question that I can’t honestly answer without more data. I prefer to have Church CHC providing more home-ownership opportunities to people in the $40k to $60k income range than having more of our housing stock become summer/weekend residences.
I am sure it is true. Plus, taxes and cost of services keep escalating making it barely affordable for the middle class working households to stay in Newport. The city and school officials need to learn how to economize not spend more.
It’s very disappointing that City Council turned down Church Community Housing’s proposal for another affordable home last week. Similar arrangements in Newport seem to have worked out well in recent years.
Actually, I don’t know. I’m guessing this is true.
It was shameful of the council to vote down the CCHC proposal. This is not a new concept. It’s been a proven method of achieving affordable housing. CCHC has a proven reputation for conscientious stewardship. It’s way better to have a rehabbed affordable house in the neighborhood than a run-down one.
I don’t even have children and I can barely afford to live in Newport.
I have no solution
It would be difficult for a family with children to afford a house here, but it is possible and some do. However, Newport’s real estate is high and I’d like to see more young families be able to buy and live here.
A thorny issue. But, basically that income level is probably not conducive to even a reasonable mortgage.
This brings to mind my own concern. Recently a local (R.I.) magazine had an article about retirement and senior living. I just turned 60. While I’m wondering where the years went, I’m getting more and more concerned about “the roof over my head” for my later years. I rent an apartment at the Clarke School Apartments. Even though we all sign a lease at the end of each year, they still manage to increase the rent during the year, and one time, even twice within the year. (How they can do that with everyone having a year lease, which is supposedly a contract that includes the rent amount is beyond me. We’ve lost several residents due to how this place is run. That’s another whole story. Anyway, since I have a decent job, I’m also in the process of looking for another apartment myself.) It was very depressing when the magazine article’s only focus for places to live was those places where one has to buy, not rent. And those prices are nothing that I, or even my friends can ever afford. BTW, one of my friends and I decided to go for a drive around the island on a nice day last week just to get out. We happened to pass a new senior community that is being constructed in Middletown, I think it was Forest Avenue. Naturally, one has to purchase; no renters. My fear is looking at the alternatives for myself and most of the people I know. What’s available out there, on this whole island, for seniors? Housing in the projects and other “low-income” places. Sure, there’s Harbor House, but have you seen how small those apartments are? A couple of people, just to get out of Clarke School, accepted apartments at Harbor House. They joke saying how they’re now renting “closets.” But what were their alternatives if they can’t or prefer not to purchase a place? (One person could afford to buy if they wanted to. But try to get approved for a mortgage on your own when you’re a female in your 70s with no younger co-signers.) A friend here at Clarke School has requested assistance from a housing agency to find a place for her. (She’s 59 and earning an average income.) So far the only places that are being offered to her are the “projects,” themselves and senior housing that are located right next to the projects. That’s all that’s out there, unless one can afford the “fancy” prices of other places that she can’t afford, places like Colonial Village or Georgetown (I think that’s the name, and I think it’s on Indian Avenue). I hope and pray that I’ll be able to afford to move to San Diego one day. I was born/raised in Newport. But I’ve seen wonderful “senior” communities for 55+ in other locations, San Diego included. Aquidneck Island is poor when it comes to what’s out there for active senior living for those 55+. Here they equate that population with those living in the projects. My mother retired from the City of Newport. She was living in a wonderful senior (55+) community, one of many in San Diego that offered studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments at affordable rents. In those communities there are people who can definitely afford to buy (and they’re the ones who take the fancy vacations every year). But people pick those communities because of how pleasant those places are for living. I’d consider staying in Newport; I love it here in my lil ole Newport. But I refuse to be looked at as someone who belongs in the projects or near them just because of my age.
Too many variables in a ‘one size fits all’ statement such as this. One’s spending habits determine what resources they have to expend on housing costs. $50.000 dollars a year would be sufficient for a $250.000 mortgage if the City’s associated taxes and other added, excessivly high municipal fees were not so ridiculously out of control.
Although income of $40,000 to $60,000 makes it difficult, additional low income housing in Newport is not a good answer for the city.
Everyone does not need to own a house. And Newport has more than its fare share of low income housing.
Yes. With student loans, expenses and no children at all, I can barely afford to rent in Newport, let alone own a house.
Now, whether the neighborhood they can afford and the schools they would go to are what they would choose, that’s a different story…
Depends on many variables especially space needs. If so many properties were not rented to party goers by absentee owners in the very areas where small homes could be afordable, this would be good. Also, too many exempt properties drive taxes up on all housing. There are examples in many other cities who used creative ways to revitalize areas for FT residents and to ease the tax burden. NPT city management just does not seem to have the will or the ability to emulate methods of these other cities/towns. Church Housing has its own agenda, not all of which is good for NPT !!!
I make a bit over 60 grand and there is no way I could afford to buy a house in Newport now, unless it was in a bad neighborhood. I was lucky; I got in when things were cheap.
The Church Housing corp plan is a bad deal for low income people. They pay the taxes on the property & land and the Corp retains the land? That’s not building equity.
We have an annual income of 90,000. We can barely afford our housing payments. We cannot afford to maintain the 900 sq ft home. That being said it should be noted that we pay just as much for groceries as we do for our mortgage. Utilities are also very expensive. Family of 4.
From my calculations you will need a household income of almost double that to own a home in a decent part of the city (not a mobile/manufactured). 
My family is a case in point. Self-employed and struggling to stay here.
There are affordable houses for this income price range
Unless you want to live on the wrong side of town.
I’m retired with no kids and can barely afford to KEEP my house that I’ve lived in for 38 years!! Between taxes, insurance, and water we’re being drowned out of living here! I wish I could sell now and get out of here!
I’m possibly an above average wage earner and we can barely afford to rent a 2 BR apartment in Newport (we have one child). We had looked into buying at one point about 3 or 4 years ago, but we could never look IN Newport, it is definitely beyond the reach of your average “everyday” family… too bad.
Yes, in most seaside tourist communities the cost of owning a house is expensive.
If the rule of thumb is ‘two times your income’ for a price of a house, then tell me where in Newport are the $80-120k houses?

When I was earning a wage in that range, I could not afford a house and it was almost impossible to find a house to rent that was decent.

Absolutely. Home ownership in Newport is incredibly difficult and onerous. It can feel like a gated community where all home owners have incomes above $100K
Based on the number of native Newporters who cannot afford to purchase and maintain a house in Newport I believe this to be an accurate statement
If this is a household income for a couple or family. It is NOT enough
If the AVERAGE house in Newport costs $350,000 then there must be lots of houses under that price. Maybe a few for $150,000. That’s affordable on an income of $50,000. Of course a family would have to save to get the down payment. What’s wrong with saving?
I make as a single mother $45,000 a year and there is no way I could afford a home here in Newport.
Who the heck is the Exec Dir of the Church Whatever Corp………….

$ 60,000 equates to $ 5000 gross per month, which can support a home purchase

It’s not easy, but there are properties that are reasonably priced that can be affordable.
It certainly depends on where you’re willing to live. I would say that only 25% of Newport have any sort of affordable real estate
Even rents are high $1200 month and up for a 2BR plus utilities
absolutely true! natives are having to move away bevause everything is service oriented in newport and the service industry doesn’t pay well. but i guess thats what the city wants. get rid of all the poor people and cater to the rich tourists, damn shame what my home has become.
There are ways it can be done. Talk with a lender and good real estate agent
Unfortunately, it is true. Housing prices are higher in Newport, both rental and sales. Supply and demand.
Of course this is true. That income is not enough to “buy” a home anyplace, and renting would be more prudent. Home ownership is not a panacea. Even a $250k home comes with $200 monthly taxes, $200 utilities, maintenance, repairs, and other costs on top of mortgage. While home ownership may not be for everyone though CCHC’s proposal to hold a land lease and provide an alternative for some form of ownership should be encouraged. I am ashamed that Camacho (though it was stated that he was misquoted) is so ignorant that he believes that these lessors would bring down the neighborhood. He’s new, but it’s obvious it’s time for him to go.
Absolutely true.
I think this situation is too bad; we should have more affordable housing or maybe better rental options for 4-person families.
This is a loaded question which assumes that people who earn $40,000 should be entitled to buy a home in Newport. Unfair!
I do not know. However, I do not know that this issue should be a general taxpayer funded initiative. I am in favor of community and charitable outreach programs, e.g. habitat for humanity, but the city is what it is in regards to the land for development and the houses that exist; the taxpayer should not have the burden to change this.
We also need to understand that homeownership is not a reality for everyone nor should it be.
and it is true in a lot of other place too

January Survey; 3 Questions, 3 minutes, tell us what you think!

  • Anyone can take this survey! Please share with your friends.

  • We encourage every Newport Resident to participate.

CLICK HERE >> January 2013 ALN »


Newport This Week writes: “Online Survey Solicits Residents’ Opinions”


December 28, 2012  – By Meg O’Neil

The community-interest group Alliance for a Livable Newport has announced that it will conduct monthly email and Facebook surveys to get feedback on what’s going on in the city, including several major projects that will affect residents of Aquidneck Island. Anyone, from any town, who accesses the group’s website or Facebook page online can respond to the surveys.

Approximately 90 people responded to the first survey, which contained three questions – about the proposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Broadway improvement construction slated for 2013, and the wind turbine ordinance recently passed by the Newport City Council. Only the toll question requested a “Yes” or “No”  response; the other two questions solicited comments only.

One of the biggest local issues of 2012 has been the prospect of Sakonnet River Bridge tolls. After the state Department of Transportation turned over responsibility for the Sakonnet River and Jamestown bridges to the state Turnpike & Bridge Authority, the Authority announced that in order to maintain Aquidneck Island’s four-bridge system (including the Pell and Mount Hope Bridges), it would have to either raise the toll on the Pell Bridge to $5 or add new tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Public outcry from residents of Portsmouth, Tiverton, Bristol, and Little Compton led to a 20,000-signature petition against the tolls, and several public forums were held where many residents and business owners spoke out against the tolls.

According to the results of the Alliance survey, 39.5 percent of those who responded were in favor of the tolls, while 54.1 percent were opposed, and 6.2 percent had no response.

Another survey question pertained to plans for the reconstruction and redesign of lower Broadway. Recently presented at a Newport City Council workshop, the project would be done during the summer of 2013. The survey question read: “Will it be worth the turmoil in a major commercial district over the busy 2013 summer tourist season to keep within the project timetable? If the project is suspended over the summer months to permit greater access to businesses and ease traffic congestion, the project costs increase and therefore would not be completed until 2014.”

Read More at Newport Now!

Read more

Survey Results – December 2012 “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

Survey Summary can be seen online:

The individual survey responses will be shown on separate pages to encourage feedback and comments.

Please COMMENT below, or share on Facebook and Twitter!


3 Questions, 3 Minutes, Tell us what you think!

ALN Logo<br />


You have a voice in the community!  We want to hear from you about the important issues and concerns affecting our quality of life in Newport. Beginning this month, and each month in 2013, we will ask for your input and feedback with a simple survey of issues selected by the Board of Directors of The Alliance for a Livable Newport. We will also share the results of the survey and publish them online.  Do you have additional questions, concerns or suggestions? Please let us know!

Take this survey

Thank you for participating in this month’s survey! We really appreciate your feedback. Please be sure and visit our Facebook page where you can also post your comments!  We will be announcing exciting new Public Forums for 2013 soon, so stay connected, engaged and informed with The Alliance for A Livable Newport on our website:
*Please share this survey with your neighbors! We’d like to hear from as many Newport residents as possible and are actively seeking greater participation and new members!

Ronald Becker, Treasurer

Alliance for a Livable Newport



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No Back-In Parking for Broadway Streetscape Project

The Newport City Council voted to receive a recommendation from City Manager Jane Howington to keep parking in the Broadway Streetscape Project front-in angle parking during Wednesday night’s meeting.

City staff conducted a feasibility investigation on implementing back-in angle parking. A report, provided by the Louis Berger Group, recommended that parking should remain as initially designed for several reasons.

Broadway Street constuctionAccording to the report, there have only been an average of 2.5 angle  parking accidents on Broadway. The report also cited public resistance to back-in parking, especially from the elderly, could be problematic.

Instances from Brunswick, ME and Plattsburg, NY, were also cited in the report, where communities adopted and later reversed back-in angle parking after negative publicity.

Confusion between traditional parking near Washington Square was also a concern.

A redesign of the Broadway Streetscape Project to incorporate back-in parking was estimated at about $49,500 in additional costs.  Modifications required in the redesign included changes to the roadway design, landscaping design, street lighting  and utility design, storm water design and traffic design.

Regarding scheduling implications, the redesign would have required four weeks  to implement the changes.

Bari George, of Bike Newport, told the city council despite the concerns, she hoped the city would consider back-in parking should a new opportunity arise.

The benefits of back-in parking have been substantial enough around the country to have gained acceptance and the city should be prepared to consider the method, she said.

Read more

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