The sign of a good compromise is that each side walks away a little disappointed having given up something of value to assure a comprehensive agreement.
People are passionate about things that they value most --- the harbor is one. The debate surrounding the east side was characterized by finger pointing and hyperbole about responsibility for divisiveness. Some characterized the 18-month vetting process as an attempt by a small group to block the will of the voters. This is disingenuous and absurd. All parties to the debate were responsible for its duration. Complex decisions demand scrutiny. The voters were always going to be the final arbiter.
Involvement by Friends of the Harbor actually helped significantly moderate the more sweeping proposals of the Planning Board. When Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Preservation introduced the possibility of a public park on the east side with free public access, public dockage and working waterfront it added balance to east side land use.
The proposed warrants create two zones --- one protecting the working waterfront, the other giving greater flexibility for owners to develop their property; a 75-foot setback from the water for new structures brings us into conformity with DEP guidelines; measurement of building height being calculated from the downside elevation minimizes the impact of a building height at 35 fee particularly on a property with a slope. However, on a flat grade it could mean a building of 35 feet.
This is not a perfect solution but is the substance of compromise.
Therefore, I will be voting in favor of the warrant articles 3, 4, and 5.
It is time to move on, to stop vilification of individuals, to end divisiveness and to address other pressing issues facing this town – schools, affordable housing and jobs. With your support I will work diligently to serve this town and its needs.
Candidate for Boothbay Harbor Select Board