Newport City Council hosted a Regular Council Meeting in the Council Chambers at Newport City Hall this evening.

The meeting lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours, here’s our quick recap;

Note: What’s Up Newp has shard a copy of the full video of the meeting below.

Roll Call

All seven councilors were in attendance this evening.

At the open, Councilor Ceglie provided remarks on her recent trip to Alabama for the christening of the USNS Newport.


Two proclamations were given out by Mayor Bova and City Council;

  • A proclamation honoring Matt Kestler, Rogers High School Baseball Coach – Named Rhode Island Coach of the Year -Rogers High School Baseball Champions
  • Proclamation honoring the Rogers High School Baseball Team – 2018-19 Division III Champions

Mayor Bova and Councilor Leonard also recognized the Cub Scouts from Troop 3 that were in the audience tonight, there were on hand to observe the proceedings as they work toward achieving their “Citizenship in the Community” merit badge.

Citizen’s Forum

Ronald Becker spoke to council regarding the topic of High School Unification.

Public Hearing

Attorney Turner Scott asked for the following items be withdrawn;

PUBLIC HEARING:  Proposed Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance  to change Lot 123 of Plat 21 (2 Kay St.) from the R-10 Zoning District to the General Business Zoning District – continued from October 23, 2019

2 Kay St.

a)Communications: Katherine N. and Michael M. Bowers, 11 Kay St. Erin and Victorious Felder, 8 Kay St. Crista F. and Stephen Durand, 5 Whitfield Place


b)Ordinance amending Section 17.12.020 entitled, “Zoning Map”, to change Lot 123 of Plat 21 (2 Kay St.) from the R-10 Zoning District to the General Business Zoning District (First Reading)


Consent Calendar

All items in the consent calendar, with the exception of Item D, were approved 7 – 0.

a.Minutes of the meetings held September 25, 2019 and October 9, 2019 (Approve)


b.Special Events:
1)St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, d/b/a St. Spyridon Greek Church Christmas Bazaar; November 23, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


2)Goodland Pottery (Potters of Newport), d/b/a Potters of Newport & Friends Holiday Art Sale, Elks Lodge; November 30, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


3)Christmas in Newport Inc., d/b/a Christmas In Newport, various locations throughout; December 1-31, 2019
a)Request to waive all fees associated with the event

Christmas in Newport w/ Request

4)RI Arts Foundation at Newport, Inc., d/b/a Newport Music Festival Presents:  A Musical Christmas, Emmanuel Church; December 7, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and December 8, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Musical Christmas

5)Lucy’s Hearth, d/b/a Lucy’s Hearth Wreath and Bake Sale, Easton’s Beach Rotunda; December 7, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Lucy’s Hearth

6)Cherish the Moments, LLC, d/b/a Holiday Spectacular Artisan Craft Fair, Newport Elks Lodge; December 7, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Craft Fair

7)Bowen’s Wharf Co., Inc., d/b/a Bowen’s Wharf 49th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Bowen’s Wharf; December 7, 2019 from 4:40 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Bowen’s Wharf

8)The Tomorrow Fund, d/b/a The 36th Christmas 10k Run/3.3 mile walk, beginning and ending at Rogers High School; December 8, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to noon

Christmas Run

9)United States Golf Association, d/b/a 2020 U.S. Senior Open Championship, Newport Country Club; June 20-29, 2020 from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily

Senior Open

ADDED ITEM: 10) Island Moving Company, d/b/a Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff, Rosecliff Mansion, 548 Bellevue Ave; November 27, 2019 from 2-7:30 p.m., November 29-December 1, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and December 3-6, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Island

c.Holiday Selling License, New, 7-Eleven, Inc., d/b/a 7-Eleven Store #32508J, 95 Broadway

7-Eleven Store

Mayor Bova stated that she pulled Item D in order to share information on the Transportation Master Plan Public Forum that is planned for 6:30 pm Thursday night at Innovate Newport. This item was approved to receive 7 – 0.

d.Communication from Kim Salerno, Chair, Planning Board, re:  The Transportation Master Plan Public Forum (Receive)

Planning Board

Licenses & Permits

The following item was approved 7 – 0.

Victualing License, New, SHM Newport Shipyard, LLC, d/b/a Belle’s, 1 Washington St.


The following item was approved 7 – 0.

4.Victualing License, New, Tijuana Burrito Grill, LLC, d/b/a Tijuana Burrito Grill, LLC, 66 Broadway

Tijuana Burrito Grill

The following item was approved 7 – 0

Victualing License, New, 7-Eleven, Inc., d/b/a 7-Eleven Store #32508J, 95 Broadway

7-Eleven Store

The public hearing was closed without discussion and item was approved 7 – 0.

6.Entertainment License, Expansion, Class B (outdoors), NPG Hospitality, LLC, d/b/a Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, 1 Goat Island, to expand outdoor entertainment to the North Lawn for an outdoor skating rink from November 15, 2019 through March 1, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Monday through Sunday (Second Hearing)


The non-liquor establishments were approved 7 – 0.

7.2019-2020 Annual Victualing License Renewals (list attached)
a)Non-liquor establishments

Non-liquor establishments

Councilor McLaughlin made a motion to remove Backyard Patio & Grille, Hope on Broadway, and Rhumbline from the list, those establishments would be invited to their council meeting in December to explain what their plans are. Motion approved 7 – 0. Revised ordinance approved 7 – 0.


b)Liquor establishments

Liquor establishments

Donald Ross and Stephen Berlucchi were approved 7 – 0, Richard J. Haggis, Jr. approved 6-1 (with McLaughlin nay). Councilor Taylor, Ceglie and McLaughlin appointed North End Zoning Updates Working Group Liaisons.

Tax Board of Appeals reappointment’s were continued to December with Council advocating for those interested in the board to express their interest to the Council.


Appointments & Reappointments


After some discussion, this was passed 7 – 0.

9.Amending the Rules of the Council-  J. McLaughlin, S. Taylor, K. Leonard


After an introduction from Councilor McLaughlin, Councilor Leonard asked if the buyer’s property transfer fees could be removed (seconded from Councilor Napolitano) from the resolution. After some discussion, McLaughin made a resolution to strike all language after the word “future” in the resolved (seconded by Leonard). Amendment and revised resolution approved 7 – 0.

10.Future School Funding- J. McLaughlin


After an introduction from Councilor McLaughlin (seconded by Napolitano). Small amendment with the last line, changed from 2010 to 2020. Voted 7 – 0 in favor.

11.Citizen Survey in 2020- J. McLaughlin


After an introduction from Councilor Leonard, Leonard stated that her phone has been ringing off the hook since the closure. She also stated, “On October 15th, the decision was made by City Staff to keep the street closed for another month without Council approval,” Leonard said. “Here we are another month and it’s not on this agenda. I think it’s time to make a decision because it’s gone on for a long time”. Councilor Taylor also referenced State Preservation & Heritage Commission “greatly prefers” Court House Street remains fully functional. Leonard said that she thinks its time for the members of council to make a decision on the closure.

Mayor Bova stated during the meeting that the group would be withdrawing their request of the City to endorse the plan later in this evening’s meeting. The resolution passed 7 – 0.

ADDED ITEM: 12. Closure of Court House Street
Court House Street


Approved 7 -0

13.Approving the financing of improvements to the Newport Water System (Second Reading)

Newport Water System

Approved 7 -0

14.Amending Chapter 5.12.040 entitled, “Number of Licenses permitted”, to increase the number of Class BT licenses (Second Reading)

BT Licenses

Communications And Petitions

After much discussion, the motion was received and a motion was made by Mayor Bova to send a letter to State Legislators saying they did not support the Tiverton Casino Hotel signs. The motion to receive, send the letter was voted on 7 – 0.

15.Communication from John P. Shevlin, P.E., Senior Vice President, Pare Corporation, re:  Tiverton Casino Hotel Off-Site Project, Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth & Tiverton, Rhode Island

Tiverton Casino Hotel

Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee still provided their traffic analysis (item #16 on the agenda) and the lawyer for the group confirmed that they would be withdrawing item #17 on the agenda (which was asking the City of Newport to endorse the plan). “We heard from the community and we’re going back to the drawing board,” he said. The communication was received 7 – 0.

16.Communication from Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee, re:  Court House Street Closure- Traffic Analysis




A lawyer for the group stated they would be withdrawing this and said “We are withdrawing this item because we need the entire communities support of this project“.

17.Communication from Church Community Housing Corp. and Newport Spring Advisory Committee, re:  Requesting the City of Newport to endorse the plan for the Historic Newport Town Spring Park

Spring Park

Communications From The City Manager

Received 7 – 0

18.Memo from the City Manager RE: Status Report #3 on Zoning Code Update

Zoning Update

After some discussion, approved voted 7 – 0

19.Action Item #5888/19 – RE:  Award of Contract – Pay by Phone App for City Parking (w/accompanying resolution)


After some discussion, approved voted 7 – 0

20.Action Item #5889/19 – RE:  RIDEM 2020 Recreation Acquisition and Development Grant Applications (w/accompanying resolution)


Approved voted 7 – 0

21.Action Item #5890/19 – RE:  Supplemental Agreement #2 – RFP#19-007/18-CLG-3 – Newport City Hall Condition Assessment    (w/accompanying resolution)


Approved voted 7 – 0

22.Action Item #5891/19 – RE:    Award of Bid # 20-007 – Dam Repair Materials (w/accompanying resolution)


Approved voted 7 – 0

23.Action Item #5892/19 – RE:  Award of Bid # 20-003 – Survey of North and South Easton’s Ponds  (w/accompanying resolution)


Approved voted 7 – 0

24.Action Item #5893/19 – RE:  Award of Bid # 20-008 – Laboratory Testing Services – UCMR4 (w/accompanying resolution)


Councilor adjourned and convened as Board of License Commissioners.

Board Of License Commissioners

Approved voted 7 – 0

1.Class F-1 Daily Liquor License, St. Spyridon Greek Church, d/b/a Christmas Bazaar, 360 Thames St.; November 23, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Approved voted 7 – 0

2.Application of Vanderbilt Hotel, LLC, d/b/a Grace Vanderbilt, 41 Mary St., holder of a Class BT alcoholic beverage license to transfer 100% of membership from FCA Hospitality Investments, Inc. to Vanderbilt Owners, LLC, d/b/a The Vanderbilt, 41 Mary St. (Hearing)


Motion made to continue applications of Rhumbline, Backyard Patio, and Hope on Broadway until December meeting. Motion and all others approved 7 – 0.

3.2019-2020 Liquor License Renewals (Hearing):

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...