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September 5, 2013

Council panel backs Cape Pond's DPA pullout, eyes I-4, C-2

Cape Pond Ice Co. has cleared another hurdle in a bid to gain freedom from the state’s Designated Port Area regulations, with the City Council’s Planning and Development subcommittee unanimously voted to recommend the full council endorse the change.

The subcommitte also voted unanimously to have the full council consider whether to file a home rule petition with the Massachusetts Legislature to remove the city-owned I-4, C-2 parcel on Rogers Street from the DPA.

Both matter now are scheduled to go before the full council at its Sept. 10 meeting.

Councilors will decide whether to add a third governmental voice of support to Cape Pond Ice owner Scott Memhard’s request, soon to be in the hands of the Massachusetts Legislature, to exclude his Commercial Street property from the DPA.

Memhard already has the backing of Mayor Carolyn Kirk, who wrote a letter of support and requested the city’s state legislative duo, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, advance the issue on Beacon Hill.

Tarr and Ferrante have lent their support as well, and are in the midst of drafting the requisite bill, which they expect to file within the early days of the legislative session.

The subcommitte’s 3-0 on the Cape Pond Ice motion was as much an indication of support for Memhard’s quest for DPA exclusion as it was a vote to merely get the issue before the council.

“Listening to Scott pushed me over the top,” said subcommittee chairman Greg Verga. “I’m not going to waiver anymore. It’s something we need to do.”

The other two subcommittee members, council President Jackie Hardy and councilor-at-large Bruce Tobey, also expressed their appreciation of Memhard’s plight and support for his request.

Tobey, who filed both motions, is trying for the second time to get the undeveloped I-4,C-2 parcel removed from the DPA. His previous attempt went down on an 8-1 council vote.

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