• Newport County Chamber board votes against North End moratorium

    By Daily News Staff

    Council vote planned for Wednesday.

    NEWPORT — As the City Council considers an ordinance to establish a moratorium in the North End at least one organization is against the concept.
    The Newport County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors “voted to oppose the proposed 6-month moratorium on economic development because it will not only adversely impact the businesses that currently own real estate or operate active businesses in that area, but we believe it sends the wrong anti-business message to the broader community.”
    The decision was made public in the chamber’s weekly “At a Glance” newsletter.

    “The City has been working for many years to diversify its economy by helping businesses to start and grow in this region, as well as to attract other investment to help support and sustain the broader community. The Chamber has been part of that initiative and we fear those efforts will be significantly undermined if a moratorium for any length of time were to be put in place,” according to the statement, which is followed by a request for “anyone concerned with the moratorium to join the organization and the board in opposition at the council’s Wednesday meeting” and Executive Director Erin Donovan-Boyle’s name.

    “Stating your concerns about this proposal and how a moratorium would impact your business would be a valued contribution toward this discussion,” the newsletter states.
    Council members voted 4-2 on Sept. 11 to approve a resolution to “pause” development in the city’s designated Innovation District in the North End.
    The resolution does not implement the moratorium, but asks City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson Jr. and City Solicitor Christopher Behan to draft an ordinance to do so. The resolution sponsored by council members Justin McLaughlin and Susan Taylor calls on the city to impose a six-month moratorium “on decisions relating to development activity in the Innovation District.”

    The district includes the former Newport Grand property, for which the Carpionato Group of Cranston has a pending application for a zoning ordinance that, if passed, the company would use to seek approval for a $100 million redevelopment of the site. The company is proposing to build two six-story hotels, two six-story apartment buildings and 164,000 square feet of “innovative research and office space, as well as medical, retail and restaurant space.”

    Reposted from the Newport Daily News website:

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