SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 13, 2014

Our view: It's time to ease Beverly waterfront restrictions

(Continued)

But even Port Marina owner Frank Kinzie said he would like to see restaurants and shops along the water; lifting the DPA designation would allow him to reinvent his property, as well.

While the state has never lifted a DPA designation, officials seem to be at least open to the idea.

Kathryn Glenn, the North Shore regional coordinator for Coastal Zone Management, said the agency would consider an area’s physical characteristics and also whether it has the “character” of an industrial area. Clearly, there’s nothing “industrial” about the city’s old McDonald’s.

If the DPA is lifted, city rezoning would follow, meaning it could be up to two years before work could begin. Leone, who has a beautiful restaurant on the revitalized Newburyport waterfront, says he’s still interested in a Beverly project. Others might also be willing to invest, if DPA regulations are lifted.

The rebirth of downtown Beverly won’t be complete until the waterfront is developed in a way that meets the needs of a 21st century city. Holding to outdated state zoning laws will only delay that progress and ensure the waterfront’s dominant landmark remains a shuttered fast-food restaurant that hasn’t served a Happy Meal in almost 20 years.

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