February 4, 2014
The face and composition of Gloucester’s historic inner harbor could change dramatically in coming decades due to substantial boundary revisions to the city’s designated port area contained in the state’s long-awaited DPA boundary review.
The report, authored by the state Coastal Zone Management Agency and presented Monday to Mayor Carolyn Kirk, would radically alter the current footprint of the DPA by removing all but two East Gloucester and Smith Cove waterfront parcels — the Americold cold storage facility on East Main Street and the Gloucester Marine Railways facility at the northern tip of Rocky Neck — while holding out the very real possibility of escalating development of alternative mixed-use sites across the waterfront.
The contraction of the DPA, first established in 1978 as a protection for fishing and fishing related businesses along the city’s waterfront, would have a domino effect that could provide the most substantial change in the city’s waterfront since it blossomed as America’s first seaport nearly 400 years ago.
“It’s a landscape-altering decision that’s been rendered by CZM,” Kirk said Monday, hours after receiving the report.