GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 21, 2013

City requests review of DPA

The city has requested that the state entity that decides which properties to designate as port areas, review Gloucester’s Designated Port Areas and consider removing some properties that no longer fit the guidelines.

Though the city’s DPA includes the long-vacant Rogers Street I-4,C-2 lot, Gloucester’s request for a review — submitted through the mayor at the request of the Harbor Planning Committee — will likely not affect the I-4,C-2 lot, according to City Councilor Paul McGreary, who sits as vice chair of the city’s Harbor Planning Committee.

Instead the review, aimed at ensuring the DPA, is outlined correctly as the Harbor Planning Committee writes up the harbor plan, would likely result in “minor” changes if any.

“As long as we’re working on the harbor plan anyway, it makes sense to look at the Designated Port Area and see that it makes sense,” McGreary said. “Harbors evolve over time, economies evolve over time, cities evolve over time. It may be useful to look at parcels.”

At least half of each property in Gloucester’s Designated Port Area must host an entity with a water dependent use. A property that falls under the port area designation either must have access to the water and be serviced with sufficient utilities and infrastructure that can support marine industrial use, or the land must have been used historically as a marine industrial parcel.

About a week after submitting a request for a review of the DPA properties, the city still waits for feedback on whether or not the state will conduct the review, which could span over the greater part of a year.

McGreary said since the I-4,C-2 lot most likely will remain within the DPA boundaries, applicants interested in developing the lot will not see their applications stalled despite the lengthy review process.

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