The Historic Hill Association

Newport, Rhode Island


Hill Residents and Businesses; A representative of The Historic Hill Association along with a representative of The Point Association will be meeting with representatives of The Newport Yachting Center to discuss the on going issue of amplified music levels created during the Yachting Center Concerts so far this summer. We would like to hear from Nextdoor readers their comments, concerns, etc. about this issue. All comments would be appreciated and will be helpful in our discussions. Federico Santi The Historic Hill Association 158 Spring Street Newport, RI 02840



At the June 11 Newport city Council meeting the council voted unanimously against approving an outdoor amplified music live entertainment license to Vanderbilt Grace hotels. Vanderbilt located at 41 Mary St. requested an outdoor amplified music entertainment license from 7 AM to 11 PM seven days a week. Proposed location was to be on the roof of the Vanderbilt. A number of residents and businesses spoke against the proposed license including the director of the Newport Restoration Foundation. After about 15 minutes of testimony from neighbors with no representative for the Vanderbilts the city council voted unanimously against the proposed entertainment license. Also during that hearing the smokehouse Café 31 Scott's war was prepared to request an expansion of their entertainment license from 12 noon to 9 PM however they withdrew their application without prejudice. There were several letters of opposition from several bed-and-breakfasts and residents in the immediate area. It would not be surprising if both applicants were to come before city Council again for these licenses.

Rico Santi


A report from The Hill.
I met with two couples last night at 9 o'clock at the Harborview condo next to the Yachting Center; they had two professional noise meters. The noise level coming from the concert was so loud that you had to speak very very loudly next to them to be heard. They took readings using their noise meters and both of them came up with a noise level of between 79.5 and 83.9 dB. The limit for that area which his zoned business is 75 dB. Each decided to call the police and complain about the loud noise. They called around 10 minutes after nine. The police said they would send a zoning officer to investigate and the zoning officer arrived about 20 minutes later. The zoning officer took readings and determined that the noise level was at 79.5, well above the amount allowed by city ordinance. He said he would report this immediately to the police department with the expectation that they would Cite the yachting Center for violation of the city noise ordinance. We fully expect to find in the Newport daily news police report on Monday that the yachting Center was cited for violation of the city noise ordinance. If there is no notice of that then there is a serious disconnect between the city zoning officer and the Newport Police Department. While I was there from 9 o'clock until 10 there were two ambulances taking people away from the yachting Center plus police officers with three cruisers arrived to break up a fight and arrest people one with handcuffs that was taken away.
And so it goes . . .
Federico Santi
Board member of The Historic Hill Association


Today Saturday the Newport daily news voters survey asks what time you think the yachting Center should turn off their loud amplified music.
The choices are 9:30 PM, 10:30 PM, or 11:30 PM.
I strongly encourage Historic Hill residences + Point residents to take the survey and check off the 9:30 PM choice.
The web address for the Newport daily news is:
We Need to send a strong message to the powers that be that it is time to take back the quality of life for the Hill residents.
Federico Santi, board-member The Historic Hill Association


Federico Santi, representing The Historic Hill Association Board of Directors address Newport City Council on a requested variance proposed by The Newport Yachting Center to extend hours of operation for an upcoming comedy night from 9:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Dan Summner representing the abutting Harborview Condo Association (Paul Callahan, President) spoke as did condo residents Mr. and Mrs. James Head. Mr. Santi turned in a detailed letter reviewing the entertainment licenses from the inception in 1998 with specific references by The Yachting Center for their “Sunset Music Festival”: “Gates would be open at 5:30 p.m. and all music will stop by 9:30 p.m.” “The ‘Sunset Music Festival’ will only take place on weeknights. There will be no Friday, Saturday, or Sunday dates.” “We will not hire entertainment that is typically loud, i.e. heavy metal rock and roll or reggae music”. Sixteen years later: there are now 16 reggae, rock and heavy metal concerts scheduled weekends, noise levels have risen to an intolerable level impacting the abutting condo residents and Hill residents as well. Interim Chair, Naomi Neville proposed a compromise ending the comedy entertainment at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:15 p.m. When the final vote was taken, Naomi Neville, Jean Marie Napolitano and Michael Farley voted in favor of the variance while Justin McLaughlin and Kate Leonard voted against the variance. Harry Winthrop and Marco Camacho were on a City of Newport sponsored visit to Shimoda Japan. Justin gave an excellent impassioned reason for denying the waiver. So the compromise in reality compromised the quality of life for the abutting Condo residents and hundreds of Historic Hill residents as well. When the renewal for all entertainment licenses came up for vote, The Vice-Chair Naomi Neville did not ask for comments from the floor and quickly moved to vote for blanket renewal for all applicants including the Newport Yachting Center. The objectors to the Newport Yachting Center variance were expecting to be able to address their concerns about the general concerns about  The Yachting Center but were in reality were blindsided by the council chair and were not able to speak.  And so it goes in Newport, politics as usual.


Hill Association members: if you are concerned about the noise that is already coming from the Newport yachting Center all summer long get ready for more. This Wednesday evening at 6:30 at Newport City Hall before city Council May 14 the Newport yachting center will be asking for a waiver to their entertainment license. They Are asking for a second comedy show to start at 9:45 PM to 11:15 PM. Under the license right now this show stops at 9:15. They  want to extend it to 11:15 PM. This means two additional hours of noise coming from the Newport yachting Center.
So please take time to show up at city Council this Wednesday to speak against this variance to their entertainment license. For further information call Federico Santi at 261-3980.