As a member of the city planning commission, I would like to explain my vote to not abandon public easements south of the seawall. During the commission hearing, I learned that the city had granted a Beachfront Construction Certificate to the developer of Porretto Beach on May 5, 2017.
The city’s abandoning of the public easements is therefore the last big hurdle that will be cleared before the sale of Porretto Beach can be finalized and the construction plan, as presented by the applicant, can move forward.
Despite the curious aspects of the issuance of the construction certificate, a very real conundrum remains: How, in all honesty, can we, as a community that has felt the ravages of Hurricane Ike, allow valuable economic development to be placed in harm’s way in such a narrow and unprotected area as Porretto Beach?
How can we remain credible as a community, vying for state and federal financial support for storm surge protection, when we ourselves are unwilling to manage development that exacerbates storm risk?
The location of the proposed development will be a direct consequence of easement abandonment and is not in the public interest or a benefit to our community.