A Little Bait And Switch - Letter

In regards to the proposal to build an outdoor amphitheater where the old freezer plant use to be, the present owner Wind School LLC has been granted a special permit to build an office and commercial building on that parcel of land. That does not include the land and water surrounding it, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers. At present, 90 feet of the land along the front of the bulkhead, indicated as an access road in the drawing, is for public use. This is not part of the property that belongs to the present owner. The town of Sandwich presently has a long term lease for this portion of the land as well as other property in that area, which has been given a public recreational use designation.

Mr. Manning’s plan has many flaws as to how public land, presently being used for recreational purposes like fishing and hiking, can be put into any design where it becomes a private commercial venture. The present use of this frontage also is designated as an unloading area for commercial fishing boats. That is why there is an electric winch platform built there. This was part of the town’s agreement with the Army Corps when they leased this land for public use.

The drawing which also shows private boat docks within the harbor itself is a public area and is not owned by the present owner of the 1.19 acres. It would require federal approval because it is under the protection of the waterways act. You do not simply drive  pilings into the water to make your own private docks on a public waterway. You would be looking at many years of legal discussions before you would even have a sense of the direction it would take. I am sure that any decisions made would reflect on the Army Corps’ long standing process of keeping public waters and land available for public use and not some private contractor taking advantage of public lands. Even if that were allowed the whole inner harbor would need to be reconfigured to accommodate the area now being used by the canal patrol boat and the other commercial boats that are tied up in this area.

Does that mean we put these commercial fishing boats that are presently tied up in this part of the harbor out of business? This project may look good on the surface but little thought has been placed into what effects it will have on a hard working fishing fleet that surely will be affected by this type of proposal.

Do we really need another place here in Sandwich where alcohol is consumed, especially with our present police department who are understaffed and overworked as it is?

Another huge flaw in this project is that it lacks parking facilities for such an undertaking. Do they intend to take over parking presently being used by the general public on Army Corps property?

What would this area look like after we get a storm surge that floods the whole place and how would they meet the insurance requirements in the present flood zone for this area?

To me, this is nothing but a little bait and switch by Wind School LLC and for me another contrivance of how a private company has no regard for public recreational and commercial use to benefit their bottom line.

If you have a real plan for this property on the 1.19 acres you own that does not infringe upon the public’s rights to use, as is the case now, then do it to scale. Your present plan has too many holes in it…the least of which is you show a plan on property you do not own. That is unconscionable as well as misleading.

Carl A. Johansen
Oxford Road


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