At issue is a 3600 square-foot visitors’ center that will house snacks, ticketing and information. The problem is its potential placement on the front lawn of the gilded age mansion. A local neighborhood association fighting it said the center would degrade the site’s historic nature. The Preservation Society of Newport County, which operates the mansion, said it needs the upgraded facility.
Newport zoning officer Guy Weston, said despite the ruling, it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last of the issue.“My assumption is that no matter which side loses tonight, the other side will appeal to the superior court," said Weston. The neighborhood association says the welcome center should be built offsite, on a nearby parking lot.
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