by Newport Buzz staff
A popular fishing access point near Castle Hill is at risk after neighbors have asked the city to ban parking in the area.
Local fisherman have taken to social media, urging the public to contact Newport officials to protect parking that provides water access, located south of the Castle Hill Inn entrance on Ocean Drive.
“For well over 40 years local fishermen have always been permitted to park in this area,” wrote Dennis Zambrotta, president of Newport County Salt Water Fishing Club.
Access to the shore is protected under Rhode Island law, which recognizes the public right to fish, swim, gather seaweed, and pass along the coastline. The CRMC does not require parking as part of the right-of-way designation, but it acknowledges the impact of parking issues.
“CRMC recognizes that well-designed and maintained public access sites and improvements to existing public access sites can enhance the value of adjacent properties. In addition, properly designed, maintained, and marked public access facilities, including adequate parking areas, can reduce the pressures for use of or infringement upon adjacent properties,” reads the CRMC policy.
“This is just another attempt by a local residents to ban parking in a public use area. If you are a Newport resident, who likes to have parking access to this shoreline for the purpose of fishing, taking a walk, or just enjoying a sunset, we need your help!” wrote Zambrotta on the NCSWFC Facebook page.
He urges the community to contact members of the Newport City Council. There will also be petitions at the Salt Water Edge Tackle shop, Sam’s Bait and Tackle, among other locations.
An April 16 meeting is scheduled to review the neighbor’s request at the Newport Interdepartmental Traffic Committee.
The fishing club has served as a watchdog organization since 1995, protecting water access, parking and sponsoring cleanups. The group originally formed to protect parking on Ruggles Avenue for access the Cliff Walk.
City Council Contacts
Jamie Bova (Mayor)
Angela McCalla (First Ward Councilor)
Lynn Underwood Ceglie (Second Ward Councilor)
Kathryn E. Leonard (Third Ward Councilor)
Susan D. Taylor, Vice Chair