Gloucester City Master Plan Approved; Calls for Riverfront Redevelopment
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
By Linda Boker-Angelo
The Gloucester City Planning Board heard a brief presentation on the City’s Master Plan Reexamination Report by planner Larry Waetzman.
Waetzman said the City is made up of approximately 11,500 people living in about 4,200 households in a town about 2.2 square miles wide. Redevelopment will continue with plans to expand on the river walk and riverfront development.
More expansion will include construction of a new state of the art water plant and a new middle school.
Waetzman said plans will work towards preserving natural and historic resources and will need to be consistent with regional plans.
Board members adopted Waetzman’s report.
In other matters the City Planning Board last week approved two applications for development submitted by area businesses.
The first was a use variance requested by Jonathan Seibert, owner of a property in the 100 block of Broadway.
Seibert plans to open a barbershop in a portion of the building that is currently used for storage. He currently has tenants occupying the rest of the building.
Seibert outlined plans to hire four barbers and to make improvements to the outside of the building.
Robert Booth, owner of Gloucester Travel, which is located next door to Seibert’s property, said his neighbor’s proposed plans would be a substantial detriment to Gloucester Travel and the surrounding businesses due to the lack of available parking spaces.
“We’re already parking challenged without this application,” said Booth.
After a brief discussion, Board members voted to approve the application.
Several members felt that the opportunity to bring another new business into the city outweighed any concerns over parking, which is an issue they said needs to be addressed throughout the city.
The Board also gave the go-ahead to plans submitted by Jerry Murphy, owner of Dog House Sports Pub on South King Street.
Murphy wanted to construct an open-air outdoor eating facility.
Local attorney Chuck Wigginton presented the application, which included plans for subdued lighting and soft music. The proposed patio would add six round tables, with four chairs each, and a service bar to the pub.
Murphy said the outdoor area would provide an alternative to patrons who do not wish to dine in a bar-type atmosphere.
The Board also granted Murphy’s request to add a handicapped ramp and make improvements to the exterior of the building, which was submitted to the Historic Commission for approval.
Board members also approved a minor subdivision requested by Dayle Baile, owner of a property in the 700 block of Cumberland Street.
Baile explained that his property is contained on three lots, which he wanted to consolidate and break into two lots, one on which a home is located and the other on which his garages are located.
He said he would like to sell the home and keep the garages to use for storing his boat and cars.Two applications for emergency repairs were also approved for homes in the City’s Historic District. Those properties were located in the unit block of North King Street and the 400 block of Monmouth Street.
The Board will meet again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 19, in City Hall, 313 Monmouth St.