In 2005, the Middletown Planning Board began a process of soliciting input and support from the community for improvements to the Atlantic Beach District. The Town is seeking to enhance the area both as a tourist destination and for local residents. The Town was awarded a Planning Challenge Grant by the Statewide Planning Program in 2006 that provided partial funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration for the development of this master plan.
The Atlantic Beach District Master Plan will serve as the primary document guiding the transformation of this area into a vibrant, walkable commercial area, capitalizing on its relatively dense development pattern and proximity to local beaches, historic Newport, and other attractions. The Town expects to use this Master Plan, in part, to seek capital grants to implement recommended improvements within the public rights-of-way, and to guide private investment and development.