Belfast developer Paul Naron’s plan to remake a portion of the city’s waterfront ran into a roadblock last week when city councilors voted to table a zoning agreement after an ornery executive session that included raised voices and flared tempers.
Naron, who purchased both the former Consumer’s Fuel and French & Webb buildings on Front Street, wants to convert them to multiuse commercial spaces and expand the existing wharf to create a marina. But before that can happen, councilors want the city to have a permanent easement across his property for the Belfast Harbor Walk.
This was a sticking point, Naron and City Councilor Mike Hurley agreed on Friday, several days after Tuesday’s contentious executive session at Belfast City Hall that was described as a “semi-public shouting match” in the Republican Journal newspaper.
“We’re trying to resolve it,” the developer said. “It got pretty heated. There was a lot of miscommunication. I don’t want to put any blame on any one human being — it’s just a process. They’re all trying, but it’s a tough one. We don’t know where it’s going to end up.”
After the session, councilors voted to delay action on an agreement that had been recommended by both the Planning Board and the Harbor Committee, according to Wayne Marshall, the director of code and planning for the city.