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August 29, 2013

I-4,C-2 redux: Tobey pushes for DPA shift

City Councilor Bruce Tobey submitted two orders this week to the City Council, each seeking to remove a property from the Designated Port Area.

Tobey asked the council to consider endorsing Cape Pond Ice’s request to exit the DPA and revisit his position that the city-owned I-4,C-2 parcel also be excluded from the waterfront district.

Though each of the orders seeks to remove properties from the DPA, they would do so by very different means.

In the case of Cape Pond Ice, Tobey is asking the council to consider supporting owner Scott Memhard’s quest, soon to be in the hands of the Massachusetts Legislature, to remove his property at 104 and 106A Commercial St. from the DPA.

While the council’s decision would be non-binding, an affirmative vote would present a united municipal front to state lawmakers who ultimately will decide whether the Cape Pond Ice parcel remains in the DPA.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk already expressed her support this week of Memhard’s request, as have Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante. Tarr and Ferrante, at Kirk’s request, have begun drafting the requisite bill to recast the city’s DPA boundaries to exclude the Cape Pond Ice parcel.

Tobey’s other order requests the City Council file a Home Rule Petition with the state Legislature “re: the elimination of 65 Rogers St. from the DPA.”

That refers to the city-owned, undeveloped I-4, C-2 site. Tobey filed a similar order in December 2012 and was the only yea vote in an 8-1 trouncing of the proposed measure.

Tobey’s orders went to the council at Tuesday night’s meeting and both were referred to the planning and development subcommittee.

City Councilor Greg Verga, chairman of that subcommittee, said the two proposals would be discussed at the Sept. 4 subcommittee meeting and either or both conceivably could be voted on that night, in time to make it onto the agenda when the council meets as a whole on Sept. 10.

Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT.

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