Critical Area Review

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For Critical Area Review Committee Meeting Agendas, click HERE.

Critical Area Review Intent

The Critical Area Review is a development plan review process designed to protect the unique natural resources located in the subject district and is in accordance with recommendations of element two (Land Use) of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the City. The intent of this review committee is to foster sensitive development activity in the southern shoreline area of the city, commonly known as Ocean Drive, which typically exhibit large lot sizes and to minimize adverse impacts of development on such critical natural elements as vegetation, soil erosion, water quality, natural habitats, and scenic quality.

The requirements of this review committee are developed to protect, conserve, and foster the natural, scenic, historical and economic qualities of lands along the city's Ocean Drive. The critical area review process is not intended to deny an applicant a permitted use of the property as established by this zoning code but rather to review, comment, refine, and develop site design elements within the development plan especially those which pertain to the physical characteristics of the site and its surrounding environment.

Designation of the Critical Area Review Zone

The R-120 and R-160 zones as established by Newport zoning code and the zoning map shall together comprise the boundaries of the critical area—Ocean Drive district (click HERE to see the Critical Area Map). All development activity including new construction and subdivision of land within the two districts shall be subject to the requirements of the Critical Area Review. It is recognized that the lot sizes prevalent within the R-120 and R-160 districts are desirable to retain the area character and to protect, conserve, and foster the natural, scenic, historical and economic qualities of this truly unique area of Newport. The current lot sizes and density in this area is suitable for the application of the critical area review process. This Critical Area Review shall in no manner enlarge upon nor decrease the number or type of uses permitted in the underlying R-120 and R-160 zoning districts.


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