GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 18, 2012

Fort talks spotlight business

Beauport won't drop chance to contest noise, other issues

Beauport Gloucester LLC attorney John Cunningham told neighborhood residents Tuesday night that the proposed Fort hotel developer has no intention of giving up its right to challenge noise and smells around its proposed hotel site on Commercial Street — if they exceed city guidelines.

The issue, a core concern of some Fort residents and businesses as Beauport Gloucester seeks permits to build a 101-room hotel in the newly approved overlay district, came during a “neighborhood meeting” hosted by Beauport Gloucester officials at the order of the City Council’s Planning and Development subcommittee, chaired by councilor and former mayor Bruce Tobey.

Ann Molloy of Neptune’s Harvest, a fertilizer company across and just up Commercial Street from the Beauport and former Birdseye site, asked if Beauport would agree to drop any ability to make demands regarding other businesses in the Fort. The potential for the hotel and hotel guests making complaints about industrial and fish processing noises and smells — and seeking action to limit the — has been a concern of residents and business owners throughout the hotel’s approval process.

“Is there any way to put a clause in that says we won’t complain about smells and noises,” Molloy said, while local activist Marcia Hart said the issue was one of the largest surrounding the whole project.

Cunningham said Beauport intends to work with the businesses and the neighborhood and doesn’t intent to disrupt them. But, he said, the hotel should be able to complain if either noise or smell exceeds city ordinances.

“I don’t see why one property owner should forfeit their rights if a situation is egregious,” said Cunningham.

Residents and Commercial Street business owners met with Beauport Gloucester LLC’s development team at the neighborhood meeting in the American Legion Hall. Roughly 40 residents attended and asked the developer a series of questions ranging from the location of the emergency generator to the ownership of Pavilion Beach.

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