The Newport Planning Board has voted to allow for the demolition of several buildings on Waites Wharf to make way for a proposed 150-room waterfront hotel.
The board this week approved in a 5-3 vote the demolition of five buildings listed as "significant contributing structures'' in the federally recognized Southern Thames Historic District, The Newport Daily News reported.
The vote took place after four special meetings and a regular Planning Board meeting held since March 1 that one board member said totaled almost 20 hours of discussion. The demolitions will not take place anytime soon, because the Planning Board only approved them under the condition that the hotel project first receive all other required state and municipal permits.
Supporters of the demolition believed the buildings were in a dilapidated state and could not be reused. But opponents cited their historical significance.
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A condition of the demolition permit approval is that the history of the buildings be documented and archived so these aspects of Newport's past working waterfront are preserved.