Zoning issue threatens to halt new lobster business

Written by Administrator
 | Tuesday, 01 September 2009 19:57

A proposal to sell lobsters at a local cranberry bog has received approval from town officials, but the idea may never reach fruition.

This week, Duxbury selectmen approved a request from Jeffrey Bolster of Vine Street to sell lobsters from a building at a cranberry bog at Temple and Church Street. Bolster, whose business is named Osprey Seafood, told selectmen he had permission from bog owner Stan Merry to sell the lobsters at this location. Bolster currently sells lobsters at the farmer’s market, which takes place on Wednesdays at the Tarkiln Community Center on Route 53.

While endorsing the idea, selectmen made their approval conditional upon an opinion from Town Counsel Robert Troy because they felt that this activity would not be allowed under the zoning covering the bog. The bog is zoned for agriculture, and it is surrounded by residences. Selectman Jon Witten said he felt that since the lobsters were not grown on location, they probably could not be sold there. However, Witten said that Bolster’s lobstering license allowed him to sell lobsters from his truck.

“We’re not objecting to the whole theory,” said Witten. “It’s whether we have the authority to do it.”

“I think the answer is going to be no and I don’t want you to have false hope,” Witten added.

Bolster said he wanted to sell lobsters on Fridays and Saturday for a couple of hours because weekend sales were better for his business. Bolster also felt that the farmer’s market would work better for him on a day later in the week and with later hours.

In other business, selectmen:

• Approved a permit for Cops for Kids to ride approximately 20 police motorcycles through Duxbury on Oct. 4. According to Duxbury police Sergeant Brian Johnson, the charitable ride, which begins in Boston and ends in Kingston, will take a different route through Duxbury this year. The motorcycles will enter town via Gurnet Road, ride over the Powder Point Bridge and then go down Washington Street and exit by Bay Road. Johnson said the charity raises money for children with cancer and their families. He expects the bikes to enter Duxbury at about noon.

• Approved an event permit for the Duxbury Community Partnership for Children to hold a family fitness day and 5K road race on Oct. 18 at the Chandler School.

• Approved requests to expand two aquaculture grants in Duxbury bay. Grants farmed by Robert Knecht and William McCormick can be enlarged to no more than three acres each. Both men had grants of about an acre. No hard structures will be allowed on the majority of their new grants but each reserved a quarter acre in a different area for growing oyster seed in cages. Both the Shellfish Advisory Committee and the Duxbury Bay Management Commission approved these license requests.

• Announced a bonus shellfish season for the commercial harvesting of both soft-shell and quahog clams for September.

• Appointed Deputy Chief Christopher West to the Highway Safety Committee; appointed Josh Cutler and Leslie Lawrence to the Alternative Energy Committee.