Letter: No industrial zoning for historic waterfront

Posted 11/5/20

To the editor:

There have been a number of residents and business people (none from the area impacted by this application) who have spoken in support of the Blount Boats proposal. Every resident …

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Letter: No industrial zoning for historic waterfront

Posted

To the editor:

There have been a number of residents and business people (none from the area impacted by this application) who have spoken in support of the Blount Boats proposal. Every resident should focus on this zone change in its entirety. The Industrial Shipyard Zone was written by Blount for Blount. Wouldn’t every business or resident like to design their own private zone filled with wording like “without limitation”? Please read the details:

Blount’s ISW zone: “32-179 “Permitted Uses. The only use permitted in the ISW district is that of an Industrial Shipyard Land Development Project. An Industrial Shipyard use shall include the design, building, launching, hauling, storage, maintenance and repair of any boat or ship, marina, marine transportation terminal, and headquarters for any marine transportation industry, including without limitation, a cruise line or ferry service. It shall include all appropriate all accessory uses thereto, including without limitation, water, fuel, and sewage pump-out services, other marine services, offices, ground and rack storage, bathroom and showers and parking. It shall also include any residential use that is accessory to an Industrial Shipyard, such as for housing for on-site watchman or employees of an allowable use shall be allowed to remain as a permitted use.”

Just imagine any of this taking place adjacent to our Town Beach and Burr’s Hill Park. Blount lawyer, Mr.Teitz said they heard "fear" from concerned residents in the neighborhood. They should hear fear from everyone in town. The Beach and Park are “owned” by all of us. Everyone should be concerned by this pie in the sky zoning.

Blount says they need 55-foot high hull shops to build and service wind farm tenders (they propose a 55-foot high building where the small hull shop stands on Water Street which would almost double the height and breadth of that structure). The wording of their proposal goes way beyond expanding for the purpose they claim. Why include all these uses, service, and without limits clauses in their request? It opens the door for an outside buyer to come in, inherit zoning approved for Blount and do anything they want within this ISW Zone.

Blount is currently part of the Waterfront Overlay District as drawn up by the Warren Comprehensive Plan. The Comp plan maps out how the town should develop into the future. Nowhere does it include an industrial zone on the riverfront or Historic District. Blount should have to abide by the zoning created in the town’s best interest, just like any other resident or business. To hand this type of zoning with massive buildings to Blount’s would be like handing them-or worse, a future buyer- the keys to our waterfront.

Butch Lombardi
Campbell Street

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