Accessory Devices on Homes

Monday, November 18, 2013

As you may have heard, an ordinance concerning attachment of accessory devices to buildings was adopted by the Newport Board of Commissioners on October 21, 2013. This includes utility meters and satellite dishes. This concerns preventing those devices which would be unnecessarily placed on or near the front of a house or those that hang out over a sidewalk and utilities placed in the center or front portions of a yard when they could instead be placed in a more discreet location against or near the side of the house. It does not include downspouts, address plaques, historical markers*, temporary holiday decorations, or lights (such as porch lights, security lights, or accent lights). The ordinance applies only to (new) items being installed – those that are already existing prior to October of 2013 will be “grandfathered in”. There will not be a requirement that existing devices be removed or relocated. However, if a resident has an existing device moved or replaced (for example, due to an upgrade or change in subscription company) they must follow the new regulations when any device is moved or a new one is installed. If a device must be placed in a spot that is in clear view from the street (when there is no other suitable or accessible place), there will be an opportunity to demonstrate this special circumstance and get advance permission to do so.
The City is sending notice of this regulation for all new installations to all known utility companies and satellite companies currently operating in our area. The residents will play an important part by informing/reminding the installers of this rule. If you are scheduling an installation tell the scheduler to make a notation that the device is not to be hung on the front  or any other portions of the house visible from the street.
We appreciate the concern and support that has been expressed by several residents. We hope everyone will understand this is an effort to prevent further unnecessary visual clutter that can have a negative impact on the neighborhoods and property values in the City. If you have questions you may contact the City Manager’s office. 
*Residents of the East Row are reminded to obtain a COA (Certificate of Appropriateness) for any exterior alterations on their property prior to commencement of the work. This would include, but is not limited to, replacement of architectural features, work on windows, doors, porches, box gutters, and color selection for painting.

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