, Gloucester, MA

September 12, 2013

Letter: There's no need to pull properties from DPA

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I am writing to Mayor Kirk, our city councilors and state lawmakers to express my strong disapproval of any efforts to remove any properties from our Designated Port Area.

The DPA was created specifically to protect the fishing and marine industrial community in times of crisis. Surely none of you can deny that our fishing and marine industrial community has been hard hit lately, and without the protection of the DPA, our evermore valuable infrastructure and skilled labor force would be easy prey for developers.

With regard to the Cape Pond property, the picture that has been painted by Scott Memhard, the Times and some of our elected representatives has, I believe, been less than accurate.

Three years ago, when Sarah Garcia and Scott showed me the property, Scott told me of his plans to build a restaurant on the property, and so partnership with our work would not have been compatible. I had offered to hire his staff in the winter, when his workers would not be as busy delivering ice. This would have reduced Scott’s expenses while preserving the jobs of his employees, and fully utilizing a property which is only being used in part.

Scott bemoans a loss of work but when given the opportunity to reduce his costs by half he never followed up. Scott plaintively cries that, because of the DPA he can not utilize his property and yet a restaurant is permitted under the current regulation — provided the rest of his property is marine industrial, which my company is. Finally he has not, to my knowledge, applied for any of the funds which are available only to properties in the DPA.

As for this last point, Gloucester is no position to criticize. When Rev. Tyndal, Mrs. Molloy, and I met with Mayor Kirk and Mr. Duggan we asked her, of all the state and federal funds that were available for DPA-related properties how many the city had requested. Mayor Kirk replied “none.”

In these challenging times, to not access these opportunities and consider eliminating our only access to them is inexcusable.

To propose to remove any properties from the DPA is to tell the fishermen that our city has no intention of helping them, and the consequent zoning instability would cripple this city’s ability to attract the highest-paying marine industries and jobs.


Middle Street, Gloucester