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Smiler’s Wharf application withdrawn

New London

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH)–The owners of Seaport Marine had big plans for their waterfront property which included a hotel, townhouses, a new restaurant, and a public walkway which would lead right to downtown Mystic. But those plans are now on hold.

“It wasn’t surprising to me because everybody was up in arms about it, it seemed,” said Sherry Compher who lives across the street from Seaport Marine. 

She was among a number of nearby residents who signed a petition expressing concerns about the Smiler’s Wharf project.

“Heights of the buildings and flood zone,” said Compher.

For her the added cars coming through the area was worrisome.

“Mainly for me is the traffic,” said Compher. “It’s constant.”

On Tuesday the developers and owners of Noank Shipyard withdrew their application for a zoning change, which was needed for the proposed development.

In a letter to the Planning and Zoning Commission John Holstein, Abby Holstein Boardsen, and Harry Boardsen stated “While we still believe in our vision for a vibrant mixed use waterfront redevelopment of the property, we do acknowledge the public opposition to the project, the vehemence of which admittedly caught us off guard given the lack of public engagement through May of this year.”

“I’m kind of glad to hear that because I feel Mystic should stay just the way it is,” said Linda Martin who works at her daughter’s downtown Mystic store Sage. “Traffic and parking are an issue down here.”

The project would have added more than 300 new parking spaces to the waterfront complex and increase tax revenue for the town but opposition grew at recent public hearings.

Some now say they would reconsider the plan if changes were made.

“As long as like some of the structures kind of stayed the same and it wasn’t too you know overwhelming for traffic and stuff,” said Compher.

“Mystic doesn’t feel like it should have the high rise building to that degree,” said Martin.

The developers say they did initially reach out to residents and local business owners long before the public hearings and they will again before possibly re-submitting their plan.

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