The Town Council voted by a 7-1 margin at a special meeting Monday night to send a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging “very close scrutiny of the need for expansion” by Atlantis Marina Docks LLC and that a public hearing be held to discuss the matter.
The Council also requested that the application of Atlantis Marina Docks LLC for an After-the-Fact permit be denied.
“Specifically, the Town requests that the financial burden to the Town, and the significant public health and safety issues described in this comment (letter) be given serious consideration, when balanced against the strictly commercial interests of the Applicant as described in the Application,” the Council wrote in its letter.
Councilor-at-Large Philip Boncore was the lone member voting against sending the letter.
Council President Peter Gill said the issue of expansion at the Marina developed after the Charlestown Marina was shut down last year and the boat owners had no place to relocate their boats.
“The State declared an emergency and granted a temporary permit to Atlantis Marina to expand and take all of these boats in and they did,” explained Gill. “But our argument is that it was a temporary emergency and the temporary emergency is over. The other piece of it is that it was not Winthrop’s emergency – it was Charlestown’s emergency.”
Gill said the sentiment of the Council is that the Council does not want the former Charlestown-based boats “here by default.”
“If they want to do that type of expansion, Atlantis Marina has to go through the process and they never went through the process,” said Gill. “They went to the [Winthrop] Conservation Commission and the Commission said it needed to look at it. The statement from Atlantis Marina was they were going to start driving piles right away and they did – because the State said it was an emergency.”
Gill did leave the door open that expansion at the Marina might be something the town would accept.
“But we need to have all of the permitting and all of the rules and regulations in order before – not this way of, ‘go ahead and do it and then we’ll worry about the rules and regulations later.’”