In Newport, a Superior Court Judge ruled Monday to uphold a decision by the town’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The decision says a Unity Road property owner would need a variance in order to process and store septage on his land. Property owner Richard Kelley filed his appeal earlier this fall after the zoning board refused to allow him to spread the material he pumps from septic tanks as fertilizer on his 86-acre hay farm.
According to the board, the property is located in a rural zoning district, and spreading the material would be considered a commercial use. Kelley argued that the property’s primary use would still be agricultural, and that septage processing would only be an accessory use of the land.
But both the board and a Superior Court Judge agreed that the process would shift the land’s primary usage, and thus violate zoning policy.