NEWBURYPORT — The Planning Board and City Council will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss a zoning amendment for the future site of Waterfront West, continuing a discussion from a meeting two weeks ago.
The meeting this week is scheduled for 7 p.m. in City Hall Auditorium, 60 Pleasant St.
Officials will continue discussion of a proposed zoning amendment that would update the Waterfront West Overlay District, which was established in 2005 to encourage a redevelopment consistent with the downtown’s character.
Waterfront West is a large multiuse project proposed by New England Development and planned on five acres the company owns between Michael’s Harborside and the former Black Cow restaurant. The site also includes Brown’s Wharf, 58 McKay’s Wharf, 72 Merrimac St., 86-90 Merrimac St. and 92 Merrimac St.
The most recent proposal includes seven buildings with up to 215 residential units, 10,000 square feet of retail space, and 85 to 100 hotel rooms. The earlier plans included as many as eight buildings and up to 230 residential units.
Ward 2 City Councilor Jared Eigerman, the chair of the Committee on Planning and Development, previously told The Daily News that it became clear during the last meeting that the current proposal would not likely be approved, citing comments from fellow councilors who disapproved of the amendment. Eigerman said he would prefer to discard the proposal and start fresh.
Eigerman had expressed hope that a new zoning amendment would be proposed by the meeting Thursday.
But nothing new has been filed, according to Planning Director Andrew Port.
Port said city officials would likely be faced with the decision of whether to continue discussing the current proposal or abandon it and wait for a new amendment to be drafted.
“There seems to be some debate whether they should proceed with what they have now,” Port said. “The council and Planning Board will have to decide Thursday whether or not they want to continue discussion on the ordinance or put it on ice.”
Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newburyport City Hall. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.