Public hearing on harbor management set for July 29

If you want to make your voice heard on the formation of a new harbor management plan for the town, your chance will be on Monday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m.

At that time, the Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on the draft of an ordinance that is before them now authorizing the creation of a new harbor management committee. That committee, if approved, would be tasked with “preparing, maintaining and implementing a harbor management plan” for the town. The commission would be made up of seven volunteer residents and two alternates and the members would follow the traditional process of being nominated by the selectmen and then approved by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

The meeting will be held in the Town Hall Meeting Room. The selectmen will attend and formally present the draft to the public before taking comment on it.

The ordinance currently being considered does not include the plan itself but simply authorizes the creation of the committee that would put that policy together. The commission would have jurisdiction “within and over all ‘navigable waters’ and intertidal areas below the mean water line on the shoreline of Greenwich” and within the territorial limits of the town. Its tasks, in addition to implementing and managing the harbor management plan, which is yet to be written, would include proposing fees for moorings for boats docked in town. It would also manage mooring and anchorage areas.

The selectmen were first presented with this draft at their June 27 meeting but have not held a vote so public comment may be heard first. After the public hearing, the selectmen will meet again in August on the draft with an eye toward approving it so it may be considered by the RTM in September.

If such a committee were formed and was able to put together a plan it would need to be signed off on by both the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as well as the Army Corps of Engineers. The final approval for any harbor management plan would rest with the RTM.

 

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