Planners seek to change permitting process for marinas, boatyards
The Gloucester Planning Commission endorsed a county code amendment Thursday night that would allow marinas and boatyards to operate with a conditional use permit in several zoning districts.
The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors will ultimately decide what to do with the commission’s recommendations on this matter.
As approved by the commission during a meeting in the colonial courthouse, marinas and boatyards could seek a conditional use permit in the Bayside Conservation (C-2), Rural Countryside (RC-1), Rural Conservation ((RC-2), Suburban Countryside (SC-1) and Single Family (SF-1) zoning districts, said Anne Ducey-Ortiz, director of planning and zoning.
All the marinas and boatyards in Gloucester appear to be nonconforming in their zoning district, planner Emily Gibson said. The proposed code amendment would allow those uses in all districts on Gloucester’s shoreline, she said.
Marina/boatyard is defined in the Gloucester County Ordinance as “a boating establishment located on a navigable waterway, which may provide covered or uncovered boat slips or dock space, dry boat storage, boat repairs and/or construction, marine fuel and lubricants, marine supplies, restaurants or refreshment facilities, boat and boat motor sales or rental.”
Commission member Amy E. Jacobson cast the lone vote against. She raised concerns about how restrictive covenants in residential neighborhoods might be affected if a marina or boatyard builds nearby.
Commissioner Christopher Poulson asked if the proposed code amendment was intended as a “quick fix.” Gibson replied that she sees the staff recommendations for CUP as a short-term, not a long-term solution.