As a resident of Boothbay Harbor since 1981, I am writing to you in support of a zoning plan and ordinance, consistent with each other, governing development along the waterfront of our community’s inner harbor. Both of these should prioritize public visual and physical access to the waterfront, minimizing stigmata of tourist-based construction that further erodes balanced juxtaposition of residences and commercial enterprise.
Maintenance and strengthening of those amenities that will allow the town not only to be a seasonal yachting destination but also a staging area for businesses and individuals that support themselves with what is harvested from the ocean which, expectantly, over time will likely change in its nature and adapt in response to climate change related transition in our regional aquaculture.
Shortly after moving to Boothbay Harbor, I remember looking at a monograph of photographic images assembled in the 1960s-70s, I believe in association with a grant from Bowdoin College. This publication depicted what was felt at that time to be tourist-related construction degradation of public access to our coastline, both visually and physically. I believe at the time the view-obstructing nature of Fisherman's Wharf was exemplified in our region. Regardless of the venue one finds oneself in, there seems to be pressure to conform to the “new norm” framed as forward thinking. From my experience in medicine, its momentum should be tempered with greater concern for those individuals likely to be affected adversely. I encourage you all not to yield to pressure but rather to reason.
Andre E. Benoit Jr.