Blount Boats review delayed after Warren quorum fails
It will be another three weeks before the town reviews a plan to expand the Blount Boats plant on Water Street.
Members of the Warren Planning Board were expected to review the plan Monday night, but had to cancel a public hearing on the matter when only four of the board's nine members showed up. The board cannot legally meet without at least five members present, so chairman Fred Massie called the meeting after waiting about half an hour for a fifth member to arrive. Officially, there are two open spots on the board, and a third member may soon be removed at Mr. Massie's request, after she failed to show up at several recent meetings.
As for the Blount Boats application, more than a dozen residents had hoped to hear plans by Blount to build a large tent-like structure on the waterfront. The retractable metal tent, which could be as tall as 45 feet — 10 feet higher than zoning allows — concerned some neighbors who have questioned its aesthetic impact on the waterfront. It replaces an earlier plan, which also included building a new building fronting Water Street.
Blount Boats still needs zoning approval for its plans, and the planning board review is essential as town laws require a recommendation from the board before it goes to zoning.
Also due to be discussed Monday was a request to allow day care centers or pre-schools to operate in a commercial industrial zone, as a permitted use with the granting of a Special Use permit; the request comes from a resident who wants to open a day care center in a vacant office building near the Warren Industrial Park. Also on the agenda was a planned discussion on updating Warren's wetlands buffer requirements.
The planning board will hold a special meeting on Monday, Jan. 7, to discuss the Blount Boats, wetlands and daycare plans.