The redevelopment of south Stamford, 1,000 high-end jobs (plus, presumable, many more less-well-paid positions), property tax revenue, vs. an aging old marina. It’s their city, and the boaters and anti-development can do as they wish, but their opposition and determination to obstrcut and preven this project strikes me as ill-advised.
But zoning and development plans for the site stipulate the land must be used for water-dependent purposes — specifically, a working boatyard. A move to build a corporate headquarters there needs approval from city officials, who still have a cease-and-desist order pending against BLT for failing to provide plans for replacing the boatyard. BLT has appealed the order.
“It’s really going to become a land-use issue,” [Mayor] Pavia said. “A Zoning Board and a Planning Board review process that I believe will be very involved, probably one of the most involved land use issues that they’ve ever had to face.”
Two officials with perhaps the most power over the project’s future, Planning Board Chairwoman Theresa Dell and Zoning Board Chairman Tom Mills, were invited, but did not attend Thursday’s meeting. Mills said he decided to stay away after Save Our Boatyard members criticized the gathering.
“We were getting a lot of calls from people thinking there were backdoor deals going on and everything else,” Mills said. “I don’t need to stir up the pot any more than it’s already been stirred. They didn’t want me to go so I didn’t go.”
Dell could not be reached for comment Thursday. Maureen Boylan, an organizer with the Save Our Boatyard organization, accused city officials of holding a “secret meeting.”
“Why was it not an open meeting?” Boylan said. “They can try and fast-track it all they want, but it’s not going to happen. Legally, this deal should not be happening because the property is not zoned for it and it violates all the rules in place.”