Click the text to see the full article from The “Citizens For Gloucester Harbor” group from the Gloucester Daily Times
As members of Citizens for Gloucester Harbor, we believe a good Harbor Plan ought to focus on creating strong, well-paying jobs in the marine industrial sector — jobs that have a solid future, are skilled at their core, and provide wages that will sustain a family.
Examples that ought to be pursued include, among others, supporting innovative projects in ocean research, boat design, marine biotech, food product development, renewable energy and wastewater management and resource recovery; protecting the commercial dockage, shore-side facilities, and infrastructure needed for a vital fishery and continuation of Gloucester as a hub port; and developing projects and approaches for a sustainable 21st century fishing industry.
Every one of the suggestions listed in this piece such as “ocean research, boat design, marine biotech, food product development, renewable energy and wastewater management and resource recovery” are already uses that can be done and have been encouraged in past Harbor Plans.
There is no one stopping these ventures from happening.
The newly created recreational dockage 75/25 proposal is only applied to newly created dockage. It would not displace any commercial dockage but could only increase the amount of commercial dockage because anything that could be newly built on a piece of waterfront where there is ZERO dockage now would have to increase the amount of commercial fishermen’s dockage by 25%.
So on derelict waterfront where there is ZERO dockage we would create slips for more of the public AND commercial fishermen to tie up. Currently there is no plan to increase dockage for commercial fishermen but the 75/25 proposal actually would increase dockage for commercial fishermen and give waterfront property owners an ability to finance these kinds of projects with their own money instead of relying on the City or State Taxpayers money.
All Gloucester residents should be able to enjoy Gloucester Harbor and the 75/25 proposal would increase the amount of dockage space for commercial fishermen, increase access for Gloucester people to have boats in Gloucester Harbor and it would be paid for by private dollars, not the public’s tax money.
To say that the 75/25 dockage proposal would outstrip commercial dockage is false, it would increase the amount of dockage for fishermen because it is only intended for newly created dockage where there was none existed previously. Places like the Building Center Piling field which currently has no dockage for fishermen could with the 75/25 proposal create NEW dockage 75 percent for new access for the public in recreational spaces and 25 percent of NEW DOCKAGE FOR FISHERMEN THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. That is a gain of dockage for fishermen and the public, paid for with private dollars. Another space would be behind Seatronics. There are many piling fields that currently have no dockage that would be able to be fixed up, pay more taxes to the city and the project be done without City Taxpayers having to foot the bill.
The more boats in this harbor, the more the fuel guy makes, the more the gear shop makes and the more that everyone benefits.
Boat building is great, cutting fish is great, marine biotech is great, but they are already and HAVE BEEN uses that are allowed.
The Citizens for Gloucester Harbor are a well meaning group and I think they should go to the bank and get the loans and make their most excellent ideas a reality, there is nothing holding them back from realizing boat building or marine biotechnology or research dreams. The zoning to do any of those excellent ideas which they are talking about has been in place forever and has never prohibited any of these uses from being a reality.
Go to it.