Newport’s new Lake & River rules challenged

CROSBY – The Board of the New Property Owners Association of Newport at their meeting Jan. 21 agreed to hear some protest from local residents about revisions made Dec. 20 to the Lake & River Rules Agreement.

Specifically, Larry Tobin (representing a group of residents that like to camp and ride four wheelers) objected to revisions #13 “Open fires are prohibited,” and #19 “No off road motorizedvehicles, including but not limited to off road motorcycles, three or four wheel ATV’s, go carts, or dune buggies are allowed on lake and river access roads and park areas, or to any other purpose, such as accessing other trails, roads, Right-of-ways, etc.”

It was a classic battle between individual freedom to pursue happiness against collective liability with protection of property. Tobin spoke against a total ban of campfires and off road vehicles. He made a motion to establish a new committee to review past and present decision and enlisted the assistance of 18 named volunteers to assist in being a part of the solution of past wrongs committed mostly by 4 Wheelers coming in from outside Newport Community.

“I want to make a motion for the board to establish a new River & Lake Committee with the addition of some new members that are not directors.” said Tobin. “This new committee will revisit past and present issues of concerns and propose alternatives for the board to consider.”

Tobin presented arguments that the ban was punishing everyone for the acts of a few individuals and pushing kids out of the community possibly to less wholesome activities. His wife, Beryl Tobin, pointed out that one of the attractive aspects of the community was its openness to outdoor activities and recreation.