It was predictable. It was inevitable. Everyone knew the votes were there. Still when it happened, it was sobering and stunning.
Last night, the Common Council passed four pieces of supporting legislation for the LWRP: the zoning amendments, the amendments to the zoning code and the city charter to create a local Coastal Consistency Review Board, and the charter amendment to create the position of a Harbor Master. These actions are being hailed in today's Register-Star headline as "passing the LWRP": "Common Council passes LWRP." Only Third Ward Alderman Ellen Thurston voted against adopting the zoning amendments. Third Ward Alderman Chris Wagoner was absent, so his vote too was effectively a no vote.
According to reports, the action was cause for celebration by members of the Common Council as well as members of the audience--Linda Mussmann and Rick Scalera. Common Council President Don Moore is quoted as saying, somewhat incomprehensibly, "This is a plan with specific projects and it's not something that you run up and down Warren Street proclaiming, but it's a very substaintial [sic] tool for people in the city that want to see the waterfront developed." Similarly, Scalera claimed the plan “brightens the future for our children and unshackles our waterfront for development.”
By contrast, we're reminded of Nick Haddad's warning during the mayoral debate that it will be "very difficult to get necessary investment in place if it has to coexist with heavy industry," and his prediction that "what we want will not happen so long as the industry is in place."