Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Excerpt from the 2/14/18 NRA Meeting Minutes

F. Proposed Land Conveyances from NRA to Waterfront Trust and Custom House
Maritime Museum

Bob Uhlig distributed a simplified land disposition plan. In question is parcel D1. Ken
Jackman said the Custom House Maritime Museum wishes to be given this parcel its full
length to the water. He said the museum recently invested $21,000 in the land behind the
Custom House by installing sod, tent cleats, an irrigation system and bricks along the Rail
Trail. The Maritime Museum could envision installing permeable pavers over clean fill
on the D2 parcel, providing an alternative use area that would save wear and tear on the
D1 parcel lawn. Larger tents could be installed, increasing the crowd size from 125 to
300 people. A temporary ice skating rink could be installed between December and
February, helping to bring commerce to the waterfront in the winter months. The paving
and skating rink would be an investment of $150,000 to $200,000 and the ownership of
the property would be necessary to successfully raise these funds. The Custom House
would agree to keep the land open and accessible in perpetuity and would not take any
steps to improve it before the park design has been completed. The museum has no
interest in managing land closer to the water than the road. The land between the road
and the water would be leased to the Waterfront Trust. An easement agreement would
convey to the Trust the fill control of the boardwalk and bulkhead and the obligations to
maintain them.
Members of the NRA and Waterfront Trust, along with their counsel, expressed
their opinions on the disposition of parcel D1. Lisa Mead, representing the Custom House
Maritime Museum, said the urban renewal plan would be maintained and the land court
plan kept intact for a historic connection to the waterfront if parcel D1 were not divided.
Carol Powers said the urban renewal plan specifically requires museum use for the land.
Transferring this registered land without dividing the parcel could be done quickly
because the land court would not be involved. Marian Levy said she strongly believes the
land should be conveyed to the Maritime Museum because it has the long-term public
interest at heart. David St. Cyr said he approves of the proposed use of the land and
would support it being managed by the Maritime Museum. Leslie Eckholdt said by
conveyed the land to the Trust it would be held for the benefit of the public, while the
Custom House has a different mission. Steve Hines said he believes strongly the
Waterfront Trust should be in control of bulkhead and boardwalk. Wilbur Shenk said it is unlikely the Trust would be agree to be responsible for the cost to maintain the
boardwalk and bulkhead if it does not own them. Bob Uhlig said he would like all NRA
members to be present before vote is taken on the issue and the item was tabled.

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