2018-05-10 / Around Town

Board Reviews Plan for Greater Public Wharf Access

By James Merolla

The public may get greater access to Scott’s Wharf at 4 Commercial Wharf if other boards approve the preliminary plans that were submitted by Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to the Planning Board, approved, then forwarded to the City Council on Monday, May 7.

How much access and from where is still at issue.

City Manager Joe Nicholson had requested that the Planning Board review the CRMC plan for Scott’s Wharf, to fill an existing boat ramp and surrounding ocean tidal waters to accommodate the construction of a storm water treatment facility on private property, then forward their recommendations to the Council.

Hearing no opposition following a brief presentation by attorney Neil Galvin and engineers representing the petitioners, the Planning Board unanimously voted to approve and forward the initial phase of the petition and its finding of facts.

Galvin reminded the board that the plan has been before them on two other occasions and that the Zoning Board has already approved the application, the key aspect of which is the expansion of the storm water treatment facility.

Galvin said the owner was willing to convert an “Obsolete boat ramp” into a bio-detention area and at the same time, introduce, “Additional and new public access to the site.” No public access currently exists at 4 Commercial Wharf.

Galvin told Board member John Oliveira, when asked, that the Green on record within the plans will be “An actual, permanent, perpetual easement,” deeded to the City in the future.

“This is a major step by the property owner,” added Galvin, though the scope of public access from which street points depends on the cooperation of a second property owner who depends on the site. “If one owner commits, they [his clients] will commit,” [to public access] said Galvin.

“This particular application is a little different in that it has implications for both CRMC and DEM and thus, water quality issues,” City Planner Christine O’Grady told the Planning Board.

In other matters

. The Board reviewed and unanimously accepted a 2017 Community Development Block Grant application to ensure that the proposals contained within it are not conflicting with the general policies of The Comprehensive Plan of Newport.

.Unanimously accepted the finding of facts and to file the petition to the Zoning Board for referral of Extreme Cotton Candy (Charles Devine) applicant, and owner Mortgage Acquisition, LLC, for a special use permit for permission to install a 3-bay sink, mop sink, and ADA bathroom, and storage at 12 Long Wharf Mall.

.Continued to the June meeting: the petition of Leslie Gillette and James Pallis, applicant and owner, for special use permit and zoning variance for permission to convert a two-family residence to a “Resident Manager managed seasonal guest house,” at 11-13 Brewer St.

.Continued to the June meeting: the petition of Paul D. McBride, applicant and owner, for a special use permit for permission to convert the existing single-family dwelling into an owner occupied 4-bedroom guesthouse at property at 173 Broadway.

.Continued to the June meeting: The application of Richard and Dianne Dallmeyer, applicant and owner, for a minor subdivision at 8 and 10 Shields Street.

Return to top