The Newport Superior Court today dismissed all appeals of the Newport Zoning Board decision approving construction of the proposed welcome center at The Breakers. Judge Walter Stone decided that none of the appellants had legal standing to challenge the approvals.
“This is a tremendous victory for the Preservation Society and for the hundreds of thousands of visitors to The Breakers each year,” said Donald O. Ross, Chairman of the Board of The Preservation Society of Newport County.
In February, 2015, the Newport Zoning Board voted 4-1 to grant a special use permit for the welcome center, concluding that it would serve the public interest, met all criteria specified in the zoning ordinance, and was consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
This is the second time a Newport Superior Court judge has rejected the Bellevue-Ochre Point Neighborhood Association (BOPNA)’s challenge to the welcome center. Judge Benjamin Gallo last year similarly dismissed BOPNA’s appeal of an earlier zoning decision relating to other aspects of the project.
Preservation Society attorney William Landry said “There is no automatic right of appeal from today’s decision by Judge Stone. The Rhode Island Supreme Court would have to grant extraordinary special permission for the case to proceed further.”
Added Ross, “This has been a thorough public process, and we’re pleased that it’s finally coming to a close.”