, Gloucester, MA


May 11, 2013

Letter: City must address Pavilion 'barrier beach' issues

To the editor:

When Port Community Alliance (PCA) first presented scientific evidence (the Godfrey Reports) that the property where Beauport Gloucester LLC proposes to build a luxury hotel is on a barrier beach, and that the footprint is within the historic high water mark, Beauport’s experts denied those claims.

City officials supported Beauport, and we were forced to appeal the city’s decision. The PCA is proud to report the Department of Environmental Protection, as a result of our appeal, has determined the property is, indeed, on a barrier beach (See news story, Page 1) and is, in fact, within the historic high tide mark.

This not only helps prove the accuracy of our scientific data, it should make city officials more skeptical of Beauport’s continued misinformation, such as their photo-shopping images in their presentation at City Hall to deliberately deceive the City Council.

So why is Councilor Tobey calling for an end to our appeal and our opposition to the destruction of our working waterfront? (My View, the Times, Wednesday, May 8)? Even those familiar with Councilor Tobey’s political history are shocked by his calling for citizens to “challenge” those who disagree with his position and “hold them accountable.”

The Godfrey report (available at ), is a detailed scientific study by one of the world’s leading experts on Coastal Zone Management, which shows conclusively the proposed hotel construction, which increases the length of the seawall by 103 feet, will rapidly destroy Pavilion Beach and the fragile eco-system just off it, accelerate the erosion of Stacy Boulevard and endanger surrounding residences and businesses at just a moderate tidal surge.

When we realized city officials were determined to get this hotel built, the Port Community Alliance asked only for a simple modification of a dune-based wall that would protect the resources and a reduction of height so that the building could fit in with the city skyline and neighborhood.

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