The current timetable calls for the committee and its consultant, Rhode Island-based Ninigret Partners, to complete a draft plan by the end of January that, following public review and the gathering of endorsements, would be submitted to the state for review and approval sometime in May, according to Sarah Garcia, the city’s harbor planning director.
The committee is scheduled to hold its first of three public forums Wednesday night at City Hall, when the initial findings on the harbor’s economic and planning baseline will be unveiled for public comment and discussion.
“This has been a real opportunity for us to expand our data so we have something quantifiable about the number of people working in a variety of jobs,” Garcia said. “We want to include all voices in the community so we’re rowing this boat in the same direction. Otherwise, we’re just going in circles.”
Ninigret’s Hively presented the Harbor Plan Committee last week with an initial economic overview of the harbor, including preliminary breakdowns of DPA parcels by size and land use, as well as workforce employment by industry.
“It’s a very mixed-use harbor,” Hively said. “In the end, it will be more about what you can do than what you want to do.”
The economic numbers — which, he stressed, in some cases are preliminary — show employment is roughly evenly distributed among fleet (fishermen and boat supports services), seafood (processing, wholesale and electronic markets and trading) and tourism (museums, restaurants, recreational and amusements and specialty retail).