Select Board appoints nine to Comprehensive Plan Committee

Rockport again extends invitation for conceptual development ideas for former school site

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:45am

    ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board voted unanimously Jan. 13 in favor of a recommendation by the RES Redevelopment Committee that the town again invite development proposals for a 7.6 acre parcel of land where the former Rockport Elementary School (RES) once stood.

    The town-owned property is located at the intersection of Commercial St. (Route 1) and West St. (Route 90.) The Select Board opened a request for qualifications (RFQ) period of Jan. 14 to Feb. 28, during which time applicants can file their conceptual plans at the town office for developing the property.

    The RES Redevelopment Committee had received one proposal for the property by an October 2019 deadline. The proposal, submitted by Douglas Clayton, called for  converting the property into “Rockport Crossing,” a mixed-use residential, commercial and recreational site. In a 16-page proposal received by the town in October, he described placing refurbished cabins on the property which would be marketed as senior living facilities. Other plans include a commercial business complex, a farmers’ market and a recreational area.

    “It should be emphasized that the envisioned buildings are not soulless strip malls, but rather individualized two-story constructions designed to create a traditional ‘Main Street’ look such as one might encounter in the nicest parts of downtown Freeport or Nantucket,” reads the proposal, adding that Phi Builders would construct the buildings to evoke a “New England-village look,” wrote Clayton.

    Town Manager Bill Post said at the Jan. 13 that since the initial deadline last fall, he and Town Planner Bill Najpaeur have each heard from other interested developers. Selectman Doug Cole, who serves alongside fellow board member Debra Hall on the RES Redevelopment Committee, said that the committee anticipates a presentation by Clayton at their next meeting and that his proposal is still being considered.

    “We think it’s doing due diligence and it’s in the interest of the town to get a broader exposure,” said Cole.

    The RES Redevelopment Committee next meets Thursday, Jan. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House.

    Comprehensive Plan Committee Appointments

    Rockport’s Comprehensive Plan, a document which provides specific guidelines for town administrators, officials and volunteer committees was last updated in 2004. There were 11 vacancies to serve on the latest Comprehensive Plan Committee, which will be tasked with updating this document by early 2021.

    Nine Rockport citizens applied and were appointed to serve on the Comprehensive Plan Committee by the Select Board on Jan. 13. Each applicant appeared before the board and described their qualifications and reasons for applying. The new appointees to the committee are:

    Victoria Condon, Max MacCoole, Robert Rankin Young, Bob Duke, Taylor Allen, Dominic Cordisco, Sally Cook, Richard Anderson, Louisa Van Baalen and David Cockey.