Blount Boats withdraws expansion project

However, shipbuilder attorney said plans will be re-submitted in other form

By Ted Hayes
Posted 12/4/20

Blount Boats is withdrawing its applications to significantly expand the Water Street boatyard through a series of zoning amendments and other town review.

In a letter to the Warren Town Council, …

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Blount Boats withdraws expansion project

However, shipbuilder attorney said plans will be re-submitted in other form

Posted

Blount Boats is withdrawing its applications to significantly expand the Water Street boatyard through a series of zoning amendments and other town review.

In a letter to the Warren Town Council, Anthony Teitz, Blounts' attorney, wrote that the plan is being withdrawn for now, but will be re-submitted in another form. He did not give a timeline.

Over a year's worth of hearings, Blount officials had asked the Warren Planning Commission to review its Major Land Development Project for the (MLDP) for the family boatyard, and sought council approval for text and map amendments to the Warren Zoning Ordinance that would create a new shipyard zone and allow for other aspects of Blount's plan.

But in a letter that will be filed by the council Tuesday, Dec. 8, Anthony Teitz, Blount Boats' attorney, said the decision to withdraw came in the midst of planning board members' lack of support for the amendments and MLDP.

"It appears that while the planning board supports the substance of the project, it does not support the process of the amendments and MLDP," he wrote.

However, he said that Blount will submit similar plans to the Warren Zoning Board of Review, presumably seeking variances from the town's zoning ordinance.

"The time (spent reviewing the project to date) will not be wasted, as Blount will be submitting very similar plans to the zoning board, and thus the planning board's development plan review of them can be brief."

Blount Boats, which has been shifting a portion of its business toward manufacturing aluminum vessels for the offshore wind farm industry, sought to expand and enlarge several of its buildings, construct and install new equipment and grow its operation to the far south of its lot, as it moves to put more of its resources into building and servicing the large aluminum vessels it is now building for that industry.

The expansion would be completed in four phases, and part of it involved building an addition to and renovating the operation’s hull shop facing Water Street. While it currently rises to 29 feet, the building would nearly double in height, topping out at 55 feet, under the plan.

While the project was applauded by several local business leaders at a planning commission meeting last month, several abutters, including Jane MacDougall of Water Street and Butch and Cyndy Lombardi of Campbell Street, voiced objections and said the approval would diminish quality of life and property values in the lower Water Street area.

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