Schedule for Final Meetings on Waterfront (Central) Zone Announced; Recommendation of Planning Board Moves on to City Council for Final Vote

By Carol McCracken (Post # 486)

The winds of change surrounding zoning changes in the use of the waterfront are swirling around and if you want to learn more about the possible changes and let your views be known, please take notice of this schedule:

June 8, 3:30 pm Planning Board Workshop, Room 209 at the City Hall;

June 9, 5:00 pm Community Development Committee, Room 209 City Hall

June 22, Time TBD, Planning Board Public Hearing.

Changes to the waterfront (Western Central Zone) zoning were precipitated by a coaltion of wharf owners, last year, who petitioned the city to relax zoning ordinances to allow them more flexibility in whom they rent to – in an effort to increase their revenues and allegedly return those funds to maintenance of the piers.

The matter could go before the city council for approval in July.

Public access to the waterfront as well as retaining it as a working waterfront for the fishing industry and related businesses was an intense goal of the working waterfront advocates in the early 90s; many of those activists lived on the Hill and still do. However, the decline of fishing in the area has helped to swing the balance in favor of relaxing zoning restrictions. The muted opposition of the former working waterfront members is deafening.