letter to the editor

More parking spaces needed

Posted:  Monday, January 8, 2018 - 4:30pm
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Dear Editor:

We need more public parking spaces in Boothbay Harbor. I would suggest that new development on the East side of the harbor offers the perfect time for adding public parking and a sidewalk to the West side of Atlantic Avenue.

When a property is developed on the water side there could be a requirement that public parallel parking and a sidewalk be provided as part of the planned development of the properties. The East side does not need multifamily residences/condos on the water. They do not add to the retail vitality of Boothbay Harbor like a restaurant does. A seafood restaurant would help the fishermen sell more of their seafood and more employment opportunities will exist. 

The developer  stated that he wants to “renovate” the East side. The architectural renderings of proposed change indicate that most existing buildings will be torn down, not “renovated.” A mixed message is being fed to the residents and business owners. With modified zoning, the businesses of the East side waterfront could use restoration without being torn down. Maybe with the addition of a little more of the“lipstick” that was used on the successful Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort and Coastal Prime Restaurant and office building renovation.

Many visitors come here to enjoy the charm and character of a working waterfront. The authentic flavor of coastal Maine is often borrowed or imitated when seafood restaurants “from away” decorate with the rustic trappings of quaint harbor eateries. Essentially they strive to make their new restaurant look old and more authentic. We already have that authenticity on the East side.

I write this as a resident and a retail business owner on the East side. I appreciate that many business owners, their friends and a few residents are championing change on the East side.  There is a troubling possibility that a majority of the properties on the East side will be torn down to become a private resort inaccessible to the public-with private restaurants, private marinas and private views of the harbor. A private club for members only. Access denied unless you are a member who holds a “golden ticket.” Is this how we want to make the Eastside great again?        

John M.T. Seitzer

Boothbay Harbor