Rockland Harbor Credit: Gabor Degre

Expansion plans at a privately owned marina in Rockland have been revised in an attempt to accommodate concerns from residents who are worried an expanded marina would diminish the public’s use or view of the harbor.

The proposed expansion of Yachting Solutions’ boat basin in the southern end of Rockland Harbor was unveiled earlier this year. Misconceptions and concerns from Rockland residents and users of the harbor surrounded the plan even before it was presented to the City Council in February.

At the time, people opposed to the project were largely concerned about the expansion of the marina’s dockage into an unofficial channel in the harbor, as well as the impact that docked yachts would have on the view corridor.

Yachting Solutions president Bill Morong said he feels the changes made to the $3 million expansion plans are a good compromise between the company’s interests and the concerns raised in February.

The changes include reconfiguring the expanded dockage to have less of an impact on the channel and view corridor. The new plans have larger yachts being docked stern-to, rather than horizontally, to cut down on view obstruction. The length of a strip of floating wave attenuating docks that would help calm the part of the harbor where the marina is located has been shortened.

“I think the [revised plans] are a great balance,” Morong said. “While I don’t believe we will ever make everyone 100 percent happy, a compromise is what we’ve tried to achieve here.”

Yachting Solutions’ boat basin in Rockland Harbor provides seasonal and transient dock space for boaters with vessels of up to 250 feet. The expansion includes increasing the marina’s current dockage capability. The expansion proposal also includes increasing electrical infrastructure for the marina and the addition of a marina office and a lounge space for transient boaters.

Following a meeting with Morong last week, members of the citizen’s group SHIP, Sensible Harbor Infrastructure Planning, still have concerns about the project, even after revisions were made.

While the changes were a “step in the right direction,” SHIP member Christos Calivas said the group still feels the project will have a negative impact on the view corridor of the harbor from Harbor Park and the city’s boardwalk, as well as infringe on the frequently used south channel.

In the revised plans, Yachting Solutions has pulled back docks from obstructing the south channel, but a fuel dock still would abutt the channel. Calivas said the location of the fuel dock is not ideal for use of the channel, though Morong said it is a fueling station that can be used by anyone and will only have touch-and-go traffic.

“There is a real interest in making sure that there is not an encroachment on that channel,” Calivas said. “As far as the view corridor, there is still going to be a significant impact on the view. It’s certainly lessened, but it’s a problem still.”

Morong first heard concerns from residents at the City Council presentation in February. This spring, he met with members of SHIP to further discuss the concerns that were brought up at the council meeting. Last week’s meeting was the first time members of SHIP saw the revised plans.

Morong said through this process, he wanted to show the community Yachting Solutions is willing to work with them.

“I hope the community recognizes that they have a company that is a citizen of the community and is trying to create some growth and development in the harbor with the community’s concerns being taken into account and addressed,” he said.

Last year, Yachting Solutions was awarded more than $1 million for the approximately $3 million expansion plan from the federal Boating Infrastructure Grant Program. Morong said Yachting Solutions intends to pay a portion of the remaining cost and is working with other investors to come up with the total funding.

Calivas said SHIP hopes to have more conversations with Morong about the changes. Morong said he intends to bring the revised plans to the city council for a presentation sometime in the new year.

Yachting Solutions is still in the permitting phase of the project, which Morong said will hopefully be complete by the fall of 2019, with work beginning next winter.