Hometown News Article, 2.7.14


No, to Atlantic Marine

Wake up, Port Orange! The proposal to relocate Atlantic Marine to Lemon Street at Dunlawton Avenue needs more scrutiny. Where is the homeowners “bill of rights” approved at the Jan. 21 City Council meeting?
This highly visible location near the entrance to our beach should certainly be subject to a well-publicized public hearing. The taxpayers, the local residents, surrounding businesses, the school officials all deserve a voice in this ill-conceived plan. When we are trying to preserve and enhance our Ridgewood Corridor and regain an image of civility that has long been ignored by our elected officials, the planning council has approved (perhaps unbeknownst to many of us) to reduce (to 20 feet) even the 45 foot buffer that other businesses must provide. In an area with a semi-blind curve, an active railroad line and a school zone, we will potentially have 30-foot tall boats parked within 20 feet of the roadway with no buffer. Then when moved by trailer, they must travel through the school zone, with children walking to and from school, to get to a main thoroughfare. Drive the route yourself to see how unsafe this can be, especially for our children.
I urge all of you to look at the current Atlantic Marine facility on South Ridgewood Avenue and imagine it beside the railroad track at the entrance to our city’s greatest asset, the incredible waterfront. If this is allowed by our officials, the only image portrayed will be one of an Industrial nature, a wasted asset and a slap in the face to the neighboring businesses that spent over and above to upgrade and maintain the character of the neighborhood.

Is that what we want for our long-awaited Riverwalk Park area — a beautification effort meant to serve the entire public? How disappointing is that? When will our elected officials consider all of the taxpayers? Haven’t we had enough of serving only a privileged few at the expense of many? The city has even approved renting our precious Riverwalk Park land for a sign advertising Atlantic Marine for a mere pittance each month. Are we now in the sign business, or only serving again a privileged few?

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