Council to Revisit Waterfront Issues Monday

by | Mar 21, 2019

Above: The tent at Finn’s Harborside, where bands play during the summer months.

They meet with the School Committee first

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The Town Council will again take up the issue of waterfront noise at its meeting Monday night (3/25), for the third straight meeting. The panel is considering changes to the noise ordinance after complaints by residents who live nearby the waterfront restaurants that offer live outdoor music in the summer months. The meeting will be held at Swift Community Center at 7 p.m.

At their last meeting, the council told the residents and business owners to try to solve the issues themselves. On Monday, acting Town Manager Joe Duarte and Town Solicitor Andy Teitz will update the council on those talks. Teitz has met with the lawyer representing Blu on the Water and Finn’s Harborside and the lawyer representing Joe and Lorraine Gelineau, who live on King Street, a short block from Blu.

88 King Street with Blu on the Water in the background.

The council will also consider a $4,650 proposal for an acoustic study of the waterfront area by James Miller, ScD PE, a professor of ocean engineering at URI with experience in modeling, measuring and mitigating noise for various governmental and business entities (Click here for Miller’s estimate and resume).

They will also hear the first reading of an ordinance to establish a “Waterfront Quality of Life Committee.” The committee would be an advisory panel like the Cove Commission and would be made up of business owners, residents, two Town Council members and town employees including someone from the police department and the town solicitor. Read more about the committee here: Waterfront Quality of Life Committee.

The final waterfront agenda item is the first reading of a revised noise ordinance, which has been continued twice (ordinances must have three readings, including a public hearing at the second reading). The latest version (Noise Draft Amendment) would allow a 70 decibel limit until 10 p.m., after which the decibel limit would lower to 65.

The Town Council will meet with the School Committee first in closed session, to discuss safety capital budget requests, then in open session to discuss a variety of topics, including a recommendation to un-consolidate the finance director position, so that the town and schools each have their own finance head (read more about that here) and discussion about using bonds to pay for capital improvements and facilities upgrades.

Find the full agenda, with additional backup materials, here.

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kathryn carter
kathryn carter
March 22, 2019 10:35 am

Being a resident of the waterfront area, I love all of the live music during the summer months. What I don’t like, however, is how messy Water Street is on both sides of the street all the way from Division Street to past Finn’s Harborside. It would be a good idea for Blu, Nautika and Finn’s to get together and clean it up with plantings and rubbish barrels, etc. An area gets a lot more respect when it’s kept clean as if people actually care about it.


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