In a waterfront community, Stamford has gone without a boatyard since 2011.
"Now it's time to either put up, or shut up," said Maureen Boylan, co-founder of Save Our Boatyard. "Put a boatyard back or sell the property or do the city take it by eminent domain."
Frustrated, boaters want their marina rebuilt. But it's not as simple as that.
"We did not illegally destroy the boatyard. BLT did," said Boylan.
Three years ago, the city's South End developer Building and Land Technology demolished the boatyard without zoning approval. Fast forward to this past summer. Public hearings were held for weeks about a license agreement between BLT and the city. BLT's plan was to build a headquarters for Bridgewater Associates at the original boatyard site. The plan fell through.
"Either we're going to have a boating community here in Stamford. We're going to be able to use Long Island Sound as a viable, recreational resource or we're going to make a developer rich," said Randy Dinter, co-founder of Save Our Boatyard, "Which would you rather do?"
Wednesday evening, the Save Our Boatyard organization presented a new boatyard plan to the public, in hopes of moving the plan forward.
"We need to protect and enhance water dependent uses and provide public access to the waterfront and business," said Boylan. "Create, not transfer from Westport, skilled, long-term jobs both at the marina and in off-site support services."
The concept also includes a bed a breakfast, offices and other businesses.
"I can't stress enough the economic dollars we're losing by not having the boatyard there," said Boylan.
Boylan says they've shown the plan to mayor martin and interim economic development director Robin Stein. The boatyard concept was created pro bono by a Darien-based designer.