The Newport City Council will host their final meeting before the November 8th election on Wednesday, October 26th.

Here are a few items that we think are worth watching and why, the full agenda can be seen below.

In order as they appear on the agenda

1 –  PUBLIC HEARING:  Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan has been a (very) long work in progress and many people have had an opinion over that time on what and how things should be done. Now that their is a public hearing, will the public show up and make their voices and opinions regarding the plan heard?

2 – Special Event License – Adrenaline Sports Management, d/b/a Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K

The Illinois company that is bringing an event that is expected to draw at least 1,500 runners has waited until almost the last minute to obtain approval from City Council regarding their November 20th event. If City Council or Administration finds any reason to delay this and they can’t “get it right” before the next City Council meeting, what happens to all those runners who have already paid to participate in the race? Will anyone on City Council call them out for applying so late? For collecting money on registration before having the blessing of the City? The City usually asks to apply for permits and etc. at least two months in advance.

3 – Communication from Newport Prevention Coalition, re: request for approval of funding for a Student Assistance position for the School Department under the Partnership for Success Grant

With all the talk about improving our schools, what kind of communication, support or lack there-of comes from the Newport City Council and Newport School Committee on this?

4- Communication from Bike Newport, re: request for Council support for submission of a grant application by the City to People for Bikes under their “Big Jump Project”

If you read our site often, you probably know how we feel about grants in general but this is an interesting one. Bike Newport is applying for a grant for themselves, BUT the application says that the City Of Newport is going to be doing a lot of things regarding bicycling in the future.

To be honest (and I follow what the City is talking about closely), this is the first time i’m hearing that the City is considering removing parking on Broadway for bike corrals, that flex-rods  or dividers may be placed on Memorial to make a protected bike lane and that the City is considering adding bicycle specific street signals along with bike boxes at Bellevue at Memorial. I appreciate Bike Newport and what they do for the biking community, but I think that the City has to run all those grand ideas by the public before saying it’s going to be 100 % done and make the city have to do it, because of a grant.

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5 – Requesting the City to investigate ways to address panhandling- J. Florez

This would be #1 if this was in priority order. Will Councilor Florez receive enough support for this resolution to move forward? It will be interesting to see how City Council reacts to the resolution. How much of the decisions will be based on a recent communication that the RI ACLU said they would be sending to the Council?

6 – Action Item #5577/16 re:  Ordinance Change: Chapter 10.28.050 – Mary Street Parking Lot (w/accompanying ordinance) (Continued from October 12, 2016)

This one has been the topic of many discussions, in simple explanation – there will be a new computer in the Mary Street Lot that allows them to collect fees 24/7 (if they want/need), resulting in the lot not always having to be staffed. For those residents that are worried, you can still park in the lot once per day for 3 hours for free.

We’ll also be keeping an eye on these three communications (mainly because we haven’t seen them and don’t know what impact they will have on anything);

  • Communication from R.I. Statewide Planning Council, re: Notice of Public Hearing: repeal of five State Guide Plan elements (Receive)
  • Communication from CRMC, re: Application of the City of Newport for a State of Rhode Island Assent (Receive)
  • Communication from CRMC, re: Public Notice- Department of the Navy proposed expansion of the existing Narragansett Bay Shallow Tracking Range located adjacent to Gould Island (Receive)

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To access Council Dockets(Agendas) and Minutes, click here.

The Newport City Council will meet only once in November, that meeting will fall on November 9th (the day after the election).

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).