STAMFORD, Conn. — Many Stamford residents came out to speak against the city’s licensing agreement proposal to put a boatyard in Shippan at the Planning Board’s public hearing Tuesday night.
“It’s simply a bad boatyard plan,” said Maureen Boylan, founder of Save Our Boatyard. The planned yard is much smaller and has more accessibility issues than its previous site off Bateman Way, she said. She also said the board shouldn’t be “strong-armed” by Building and Land Technology or the mayor’s office to add the boatyard or a new headquarters for Bridgewater Associates in the area.
“This plan has been in the work for longer than we knew,” said Carol Ann McClean, a candidate for the city’s Board of Representatives. The developer applied in 2006 for the name Waterfront LLC, the landowner of 205 Magee Ave., where the boatyard is planned, she said.
“The agreement has a time limit that is too short,” said Ray Denture, a city resident who has worked in boating. Under the plan, the boatyard would be at the location 25 to 40 years. A boatyard operator may not give its best effort if there were no guarantee it would be there longer, he said.
But there was some support for the plan in the crowd.
Ali Girardi, president of Outreach to Pets In Need, described how badly the animal shelter is in need of an upgrade. Construction of a new animal shelter is part of the agreement the developer made with the city for the site. In a perfect world, the shelter would be moved to a new site, she said, but pets can’t wait for a perfect world.
“Reality is about compromise,” Girardi said.
Jay Forgotson, of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, urged the board to approve the plan as soon as possible. He compared it with a deal in Bridgeport that got dragged out until businesses backed out, leaving vacancies in that city.
“Bottom line is we can’t have that in the city of Stamford,” Forgotson said.
The public hearing ran until late Tuesday night and was cut short. The Planning Board will pick up the hearing where it left off with the list of people who want to speak. It will also ask more questions of city officials and the representatives of the property owners.