PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Coastal regulators in Rhode Island have voted to deny a request by the owner of one of the state’s most famous restaurants to expand his shellfish farming operations in a local salt pond.

A four-member subcommittee of the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council voted Tuesday to recommend denying a permit for Perry Raso, the owner of the Matunuck Oyster Bar, to start a three-acre oyster and scallop farm on Potter Pond in South Kingstown, The Boston Globe reported.

Raso already has a seven-acre aquaculture operation on the pond, which has made the restaurant a “pond-to-table” destination for diners.

Raso and his attorney declined to comment after the meeting.

Much of the opposition to the expanded aquaculture project came from a group of area homeowners known as Save Potter Pond, who said it would interfere with recreational boating in the area.

The subcommittee appeared to agree, saying devoting three acres of the pond to the cultivation of shellfish would reduce the amount of space available for activities like water-skiing and tubing, The Providence Journal reported.

The four-year legal battle is not over. It’s now up to the full council to make a final decision. No date has been set.

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