Someone Misses My Point Entirely About The Floating Marina

Commentor X who obviously knows a whole lot about DPA regulations and exactly how the permitting for this exact Floating Marina project will work comments on my stance about the Floating Marina proposal. (couldn’t at all be someone involved with the planning for it could it?)  Nah, purely coincidental that they have that knowledge at the tip of their tongue. Smile

First I’ll repost what I wrote-

The Floating Marina- My Stance

Posted on January 17, 2012 by Joey C

As a waterfront property owner I want you to know that this thing which as I understand it, is a floating dock in the middle of the harbor on which transient boats can tie up to.

I am for things that will help get people to our downtown and spending money thus I am not anti- this type of project.

I just want you to understand why it is being done the way it is- as a big float in the middle of the harbor instead of a dockage facility on a piece of waterfront in Gloucester Harbor close to downtown.

This is because the antiquated DPA restrictions won’t allow for a transient dock to exist within the DPA on the waterfront in any place other than the already grandfathered recreational marinas and on an island in the middle of the harbor.
So the thing is being designed as float in the middle of the harbor built with taxpayer money.

If the zoning made any sense and modifications to the DPA allowed there would already be a transient dock built on one of the crumbling piers inside of the harbor.
It would be able to be financed privately and built with private dollars because it is a project that makes financial sense.

So we could have this type of thing built on the harbor within walking distance of downtown financed without public money and without having to hop on a launch service which we don’t even know is gong to be financially viable to run on it’s own
But instead what we will get because of zero flexibility in the DPA is the float built as an island in the middle of the harbor financed with public dollars and reliant on a launch service to get people around and no improvement to the tax base from a renovated waterfront property.

This is not to say that a single fishing boat would need to be displaced (because you know that is always the cry) there are plenty of properties such as behind the piling field behind the Building Center, behind Seatronics and more piling fields around the city where it could be built.

Joey Ciaramitaro

Captain Joe and Sons

Gloucester MA

Commenter X takes exception with my stance-

The D.P.A. allows for a bottom anchored floats to be used for transient boaters. Recreational or Commercial. An owner can have this float tied to their dock if they wish. As long as the float or floats sit 3 times the depth of the water (at mean low water) back from the harbor line. If the floats will hold more than ten boats it is considered a marina. If it is held in place with pilings it becomes a different thing with many problems. One of which is it has to be commercial. The area you mentioned are not owned by the city so the city cannot build on them. Those property owners have to build on them given the guidelines of the D.P.A.

As for using public funnds. These funds are set up for exactly these kinds of project. Why would the city not take advantage of them juat because you are pissed about how you want things to be done?

You keep repeating big island in the middle of the harbor. I guess the more you say it the more you can get other people to be pissed off along with you and it will seem bigger and bigger the more you say it. If you have seen it you will see that it takes up very little room. What is the matter with you?

Changing the DPA if that is what you want can only start with the property owners. Then the mayor and so on up the food chain. Why in the world would you want to stop a project just because you don’t like the way it is done.

You have a big voice in the community with GMG and your blog. Use it wisely rather than repeatedly spewing what you want to become sound bites in order to piss everyone else.
“Big float in the middle of the harbor”??? You know it isn’t as big as you want people to believe. You say “Public funds” you know they are grants just for this. Again i get that you are pissed off about the D.P.A. why not work towards changing it. Not stopping everything until it is or is not changed.

Many, many coastal
seaport have municipal marinas and launch services. It is much needed service.

Commenter X

and my response to Commenter X-

Where did I say I wanted to stop it? I said I wasn’t anti-it if you read correctly.

As for using the public’s money for it just because it is available I think that is the biggest problem with government spending in the first place. If you allowed the private sector to build it using their own funds then there would be that sum of money available for some other civic project no?  It would be built within a year using private dollars.  But fuck it, we can grab the money even if it’s not for the best use we should take it instead of putting it toward something that is more needy like schools, keeping fire stations open or whatever is a higher priority.

The point I’m trying to make is that the City, the State or The Federal Government doesn’t need to spend the taxpayers money to compete with existing businesses who would love to provide that service or already are providing those services.  If you allowed the use on places where there currently isn’t any activity on the harbor it would be built by the property owners and you would get a fixed up property that would in turn pay more money in taxes TO THE CITY! So can you see why getting money from more taxes in the harbor would be a better alternative to spending taxpayer money and competing against existing businesses?  All that would be needed is tweaking of the DPA to allow any NEW dockage that is built to allow for new space for recreational dockage as long as they also add space for commercial boats as well.  That was the entire crux of the Property owners proposal in the last Harbor Plan that went ENTIRELY IGNORED.  More dockage for fishermen, more dockage for recreational boating, fixed up properties on the waterfront paid for by the property owners and not the public which would then in turn pay more money in taxes and increase activity on Gloucester Harbor for EVERYONE.  Not Just the fishermen, not just the local pleasure boaters, not just the transient boaters- EVERYONE.  More activity means more fuel sold, more boat mechanics work, more sail repair work, more marine supplies sold.  But the real anti-development people which you try to lump me in with are the ones who won’t allow what makes sense to happen.

You seem to think I have a problem with how big it is.  I don’t.  In fact if you are going to build it which let’s face it is probably a done deal you may as well make it big.

Grants that are misused means the money isn’t going toward something that is a better allocation.

I am not trying to stop anything, please, do not try and paint me as an anti-development guy, if you know anything about me you know I’m anything but. What I AM is however is anti Government getting into business and competing with businesses that are not allowed to do those very same things.

Good luck with your project and hopefully you can perhaps understand where I’m coming from.  It isn’t that I’m trying to stop you from putting your plan into action.  It’s that I  wish that one time someone from the planning boards or City would do something to remove a building block for the private sector instead of concentrating on competing with it.

In most Cities for example if someone like Sheree DeLorenzo proposed a hotel close to downtown on a piece of property that is a beach and you would never offload a boat that city would approach it with a-

“What can I do to help make this happen” attitude.

Instead, in most cases we get an “In what ways can we stick it up this developer’s ass.” mentality

Here are a few examples and I’m not speaking for those owners maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t want to have this type of project-

Jeff Amero’s property on the Fort-


Behind The Building Center-


Behind Seatronics-


If a house in Smith’s Cove can string out ten floats deep and rent out  “let their friends tie up to it” I’m sure we can accommodate plenty of floats in many places just like these that are not being utilized!


  • I agree. Just because we have grant money does not mean it has to be spent foolishly. The efforts should be used to supply dockage where we have nothing but rotting pilings. Boaters would have easier access to downtown year round and probably at lower cost with easier maintenance. Why go to “pie in the sky” ideas before we do what it takes to change regs and build land based dockage?


  • How many months of the year would this floating marina really get any use?


  • Why not clean up that wasted area behind the building center with a town marina with transient docks and a fuel and supply store and catch up to the rest of the harbors?


  • I thought the grant money covered only some of the costs to the city for this project . The writer suggests its all covered by the grant . is that true?


  • The area indicated off Fort Square has never been used to dock boats. There is a good reason why. It’s not suitable due to currents and winds.


    • You mean at the location where Cape Ann Fisheries used to offload boats for years or the Parisi’s buildings which had offloaded boats for years? Yeah I can see how having a boat there would be a terrible idea.


  • harbor property association member

    We talk of grant money as if it were NOT our money—The DPA regulations need to be changed ! To allow improvements in our dysfunctional waterfront, beautiful-but way under utilized ! Appreciate Joe’s quality efforts in communicating honestly with integrity–Here’s to all OUR LOVE of Gloucester !


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