letter to the editor

Questioning BHWP’s wisdom

Mon, 05/22/2023 - 3:30pm

Dear Editor:

In recent weeks, Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation has adopted a new and aggressive legal and PR strategy against the town. It started with the filing of a new court appeal against the town, and culminated with a coordinated march on the Select Board and Planning Board to protest that the Board of Appeals’ recent recission of the park’s shoreland zoning permit had caused a “dockage crisis for lobstermen.”

As to the lawsuit, we must ask the same question asked by Board of Appeals Chair Wendy Wolf: Why is BHWP going to court, rather than the more expeditious option of going back to the Planning Board with a compliant project? BHWP didn’t have an answer for Ms. Wolf, and it doesn’t seem to have one now. Rather than conceding to its errors, BHWP has resorted once again to finger-pointing and throwing its weight around.

As to the political pressure, we must ask: If Carter’s Wharf is the cause, how can the owners of Carter’s Wharf fix it? Why has that project, like the Park, not been better planned for? What are the common denominators? (Note: the Doyles haven’t challenged anything to do with Carter’s Wharf).

The Planning Board is letting BHWP jump the line out of this urgency to get its wharf permit, even acting before an application was even received to schedule a meeting for days later. Piecemeal and rushed permitting has been the hallmark of this project, and never to a good end. We will certainly not be surprised if BHWP’s coercive tactics once again manage to secure it approval for this one tiny element of the project. But as always, we will question the wisdom of letting bias and political pressure drive waterfront development, rather than fair application of our ordinances.

Joe and Jill Doyle

Boothbay Harbor