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City Nixes Beachfront Overnight RV Parking

January 7, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Aerial view of Easton's Beach in Newport Beach, R.I.

Aerial view of Easton's Beach in Newport Beach, R.I.

A proposal to allow recreational vehicles to park overnight at a small section of Easton’s Beach parking lot fell flat Wednesday (Jan. 6)  as members of the Newport Beach (R.I.) Commission voted overwhelmingly not to endorse the plan.

A proposal that would have allowed overnight parking for RVs at Easton’s Beach was met with opposition by commission members, according to Newport Now.

The plan was placed on the agenda for the beach commission’s Dec. 8 meeting, however not enough members turned out to constitute a quorum and no action was taken.

It was raised again Wednesday, where commission members had the chance to weigh in on the proposal.

Beach Commission Chairman Herb Armstrong told Newport Now last month that he even though the plan was being brought back, he didn’t see it making past committee. Ultimately, he was proven correct.

Under the plan, put forth by Economic Development Director Jonathan Stevens, RVs would be permitted to park overnight at a designated portion of the Easton’s Beach parking lot on weekdays from June until August, and seven days a week in May and October.

The same proposal had won the endorsement of the commission last year by a slim margin, but was scuttled due to public outcry before it could reach the council for discussion.

In an e-mail earlier Wednesday, Armstrong said that the primary areas of concern expressed by the commission members centered around the aesthetics and the effect RVs might have on marketing the Rotunda and on beach attendance.

Security and enforcement of littering and alcoholic beverage rules, and liability due to an unlighted parking lot, possible night swimming were also cited as concerns.

“Also,” Armstrong said, “several commission members said they had heard many comments from residents against the idea and none in favor.”

In the end, the vote was unanimous not to support the proposal, but Armstrong added that he was happy to see the matter receive a good vetting and pointed to a new effort that he hopes will drum up some public input on how the city can improve the facility.

“I was pleased that the commission gave the idea a full hearing and every member had the opportunity to comment,” he said. “However, the beach still needs to develop new revenue streams. Therefore, we voted to hold a special meeting on Jan. 19 to brainstorm ideas and evaluate the draft business plan for the beach.”

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