The Newport City Council Monday sat down to talk with its city Planning Commission and a funny thing happened very quickly after that.
It wasn’t that long ago that it appeared that new Vacation Rental Dwellings, VRDs, were about to be let loose on many areas of Newport. But there arose, very quickly a resistence by a number of city councilors who thought VRDs belong primarily in tourist commercials areas, and that regular homes belong in true, traditional neighborhoods.
So at the end of the discussions it was agreed that more discussions will take place before the city council April 15th with final deliberations at a city council meeting set for May 7th.
Long time Newport residents who see VRDs popping up in their neighborhoods, causing noise, trash and generally raising a ruckus want VRDs to be concentrated more toward restaurants, centers of entertainment along with easy access to the beach – not invading traditional neighborhoods.
We’ll see how this all works out when that May 7th City Council meeting attempts to find a rational solution to what has been a very emotional tug of war between those who own property and want to make money off it and local families who want to raise their children in quiet, relaxed and safe neighborhoods.
A bit later, the Newport City Council in regular session debated whether to outlaw single use plastic shopping bags in Newport. The council heard some complaints about the impending ban claiming that the voters should be deciding the issue, not the city council. But bag ban supporters said there’s an urgent need to reverse the trend that plastic bags are killing sea life, soiling beaches and generally making a mess of Earth’s 7 Seas.
The council said that not all plastic bags would be banned, just most of them. And that they’ll be talking more about all this on April 15th. One resident got up and strongly hinted there could be a grassroots attempt to form a movement to put the issue on the ballot so the citizens can have a final say – not the council.