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Thursday December 3, 2009
Task Force Members Present: Susan Murphy, Hingham Planning Board; John Riley, Selectmen; Ben Wilcox, HDIC; Alan Perrault, Harbor Development Committee; Peter Fee, Trustees of the Hingham Bathing Beach; Katy Lacy, Town Planner, Ken Corson, Acting Harbormaster.
Ken Corson, Harbormaster, reported that the dredging was a bit behind schedule. Additionally, he was continuing to work on revisions to the Harbor By-Law and Harbor Regulations for consideration by the Selectmen and ultimately at Town Meeting.
Peter Fee, Bathing Beach Trustee, reported that there had recently been a request by a developer seeking to meet their water balance requirements to replace the plumbing fixtures at the Bath House. Mr. Fee explained that the current fixtures were relatively new at this time.
Alan Perrault presented a draft press release summarizing the activities of the Task Force, and other activities in the Harbor. Task Force members reviewed the document and encouraged Mr. PerRault to move forward and submit the article to the newspaper. Ms. Murphy asked whether this article or a follow-up article could focus on generating interest in the creation of a Friend’s group for the Harbor. Mary Devin, a representative from the Hingham Journal, agreed to work with Alan on continued publicity for the group’s efforts.
Nick Amdur of the Harbor Development Committee noted that he was moving forward with his investigation of financial issues relative to the Harbor, focusing specifically on tracking the sources and allocations of funds included in the Waterways Account. His goal was to write up a report summarizing revenues and expenses relative to the Harbor.
PB report on Zoning Articles submitted to Selectmen
Ms. Murphy reported that the Planning Board submitted two articles relevant to the efforts of the Task Force. The first was an article that would permit concessions as an accessory use to an athletic use in certain parcels of land zoned Official and Open Space. Additionally, the Board decided to proceed with an article to create a Hingham Harbor Overlay District intended to promote and allow for appropriate development on the Harbor while protecting its scenic character.
Ms. Murphy reported that the new owners of 26 Summer Street, John Kenney and Dana Baxter, came before the Planning Board to present preliminary plans for the property. In summary, they are considering the construction of a smaller building than what was permitted for the previous owner, but would like to have a larger marina including up to 50 boat slips.
Selectmen report on recent meeting re: public access at Barnes Wharf
At the last minute Selectmen Riley stated his plan to meet with management of the Lincoln Maritime Center with various Town officials on site to discuss the issue of public access. Residents have complained that during the off-season the site is used for float and equipment storage, which, along with the fact that the gate is closed, prevents clear access around the site. Additionally, during the summer months there are restrictions as to who can be one site due to potential risk to children and teenagers participating in the program. On Wednesday, November 26 Selectmen Riley, Alan Perrault, Nick Amdur, Ken Corson and Acting Building Commissioner Mark Grylls met on site with Sturt English and Ellen Dresser of the LMC. In summary, LMC agreed to create a clear path around the site during the off season, but they were not able to resolve the issue of public access during the summer months. Selectmen Riley noted that they would keep the discussion going, but pointed out that there were other public access opportunities on the Harbor, including Whitney Wharf, Iron Horse Park, etc. A small group of residents at the meeting, who were also in attendance at this meeting, disagreed with the request for residents to submit written comments.
The next meeting of the Harbor Task Force was scheduled for Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00 PM.
Respectfully Submitted, Katy Lacy Town Planner