The Historic Hill Association

Newport, Rhode Island

May 2013: NEWPORT'S CIVIC GROUPS SEEKING LARGER ROLE

A neighborhood roundtable discussion was held in May organized by the Alliance for a Livable Newport. In addition to ALN, seven neighborhood organizations participated including: The Historic Hill Association, The Point Association, The Off-Broadway Association, The Ochre-Point Association, The Top of the Hill Association, The North End Neighborhood Association, and The Castle Hill Association. Representatives were asked to fill out a questionnaire in advance with topics including: Membership demographics, Activities, Communication tools, Events, Traditions and Concerns. Topics also included: Top 3 biggest issues city-wide, and why and what your neighborhood is seeking / needing from City Government.

Unanimously, the organizations wanted more recognition from Newport City Government as to their importance in representing Newport citizens. Specific needs were mentioned by the groups. Federico Santi, representing The Historic Hill Association, brought up the issue of a need for the city to fully appreciate the importance of Newport's historic streetscapes. He stated, "In the past, the city paid Brian Pelletier to maintain the gas lamps on Historic Hill, but he was let go. "Now the gas lamps are deteriorating because of a lack of maintenance, they are letting the gaslights fail to justify removing them". Noise issues from late night bars – after they close – was discussed as well. This issue particularly impacts Historic Hill residents. Each neighborhood had different concerns to report and all felt that there needed to be a better line of communication with the city government. Beth Cullen, representing The Point Association, envisioned an "Office of Neighborhoods" at City Hall. The group has decided to meet regularly and we will continue to report any progress made through our Newsletters and on our Website.
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March 2013: STONE TOWER FENCE RESTORATION

The Committee, Chaired by Pam Giroux, is actively seeking bids from local iron work companies in an effort to estimate the cost of the renovation. In cooperation with the City Tree Warden, Newport Restoration Foundation and other interested parties, a solution is forthcoming. A Fund Raising Drive is eminent and HHA will take the lead to get this under way.
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March 2013: THE HILL STICKER PARKING

The Board approved the establishment of “The Historic Hill Sticker Parking Study Committee” to be chaired by Karen Nash. Karen will seek assistance from at least two other members and is charged with investigating the feasibility of The Hill becoming a 24 hour 12 month sticker parking area. Statistical data should drive the rational that this would be a necessary "quality of life" issue for Hill residents. We will keep Membership posted of the committee’s progress.
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Febrary 2013: MEETING WITH CITY MANAGER

Board Members met with City Manger Jane Howington, to discuss a variety of issues of concern to our neighborhood: Noise Ordinance Enforcement, more visible police presence on The Hill, Graffiti, Residential Parking, Gas Lights, Short-Term Rentals. Our main concern regarding to Noise Enforcement is limited number of zoning staff available during weekend nights to manage this continuous struggle, and without the authority to write citations on the spot, they have to call in and wait for a Police Officer to respond. Police presence on foot or bike during weekend nights could also be of assistance. The City Manager is aware of the problems and has some ideas to tackle the issue. Our Council Member Kate Leonard also attended the meeting, and suggested we initiate a “Community Call for Action” in cooperation with other Neighborhood Associations, to increase our voice. These “Quality Of Life Initiatives” are goals of many among us. HHA will continue to follow-up on these and other issues discussed!
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