Allow dock building in the Marine Development District, Village of Clayton

Allow dock building in the Marine Development District, Village of Clayton

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Jennifer Van Reenen started this petition to Mayor Zimmer and

In 2016 we (Jake and Jennifer Van Reenen) purchased commercial property in the Marine Development district in the Village of Clayton, specifically so that we could operate a marine business here. The property we purchased, between French Bay and French Creek Marinas, was zoned commercially and was used for marine transportation and construction prior to our purchase.

Since then, we have invested significantly in the property and grown our business, Seaway Marine Group LLC. The business provides essential services to the local community, including the transportation of residents, contractors, and power companies to the islands. Additionally, we provide essential marine construction services such as shoreline protection and dock building to the local community. We pride ourselves in the quality of our work and our professionalism. As a result, our business has grown and we now employ up to 9 people year round, have the highest pay rates for comparable businesses in the area, offer full benefits, and provide a safe and happy working environment. 

We have recently been told we can no longer build docks in this commercial Marine Development district without a change in the Village Ordinance because the Ordinance fails to outline what exactly is allowed in this district. Dock building has been classified as manufacturing (as it is the assembly of processed materials), which cannot be done in this district. We completely disagree with this classification. We build custom, made to order docks, and do not manufacture docks on a large scale. Additionally, if docks cannot be built in the Marine Development district, what district can they be built in? It does not make sense to require docks to be built at an upland site that has no access to the water. 

The Clayton community and local economy relies on access to the River for recreation, tourism and business. Importantly, any negative impact on our business, will directly affect our 9 employees and their families. This is especially concerning given the current precarious economic environment our Village, State and Country is facing as a result of the Coronavirus. We need the Village Board to uphold the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program goals to improve the long-term development of our waterfront community by supporting, protecting, and promoting necessary local marine businesses like Seaway Marine Group. We need you to help us have the Ordinance amended so that dock building is allowed in the Marine Development District in the Village of Clayton. 

Please help us do so by signing the Petition. 

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