Opposition to Pier Owners Request for WCZ Relaxation Strikes Back; Anton Seeks Policy Statement Amendments Rather Than Agreement by Both Parties

Councilor Cheryl Leeman, Chair, of the Community Development Committee

By Carol McCracken (Post # 582)

Last night, Dick Ingalls, one of the three representatives of the consortium of pier owners looking for relaxations in the central zone, said that the two parties had signed an agreement dated September 15th, 2010. The two parties met on August 26, and ironed out differences that had separated them previously. Charles Poole represented the wharf owners and Willis Spear, Jr. represented the Portland fishermen.

The agreement clarified that commercial fishermen cannot be displaced by non-comercial boats at wharves when there is a rental vacancy and the pier owners request that their request that 50% of the first floor of buildings be used for non-marine related use be downgraded to 45%. Councilor John Anton who does not support mixed use on the waterfront said he does not support negotiated contracts or agreements such as the one signed by both parties.

Rather, Anton posed a littany of questions he’d like to have become amendments to the WCZ Policy Statement. The CDC went through them, discarding some of them, agreeing on others and undecided on still others. The discussion on this will continue at its next meeting – possibly later this month.

Meanwhile, an attorney will translate the signed agreement into ordinance language for the city. The agreement was signed by Charles Poole, for the WCZ pier owners and Willis Spear, Jr. as a representative of the Portland Fishermen. Last month, Spear presented a handwritten petition to the city on behalf of fishermen who objected to the relaxation of the zoning ordinance.

Please see Post # 558, dated August 24th for more background information.