Champlin’s hearing haltedAffidavit roils proceedings
The latest hearing on the nearly decade-long effort by Champlin’s Marina to expand in Block Island’s Great Salt Pond, was abruptly cancelled just minutes before it was to open on Thursday, January 17.
Grover Fugate, Executive Director of the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), announced that the marina had filed a motion calling for CRMC chair, Anne Maxwell Livingston, to recuse herself from the proceedings.
According to Fugate, Champlin’s had provided an affidavit signed by Gerald Zarrella alleging that Livingston made inappropriate remarks about the marina’s counsel and case. Zarrella said that he was introduced to Livingston at a Providence restaurant and that she proceeded to make a series of unsolicited statements to him about the marina.
In the latest round in its nine-year quest to expand in Block Island’s Great Salt Pond, Champlin’s has most recently argued that the CRMC denied its expansion application unfairly, since the council did approve an expansion for Payne’s Dock.
The CRMC did approve a 0.38-acre expansion for Payne’s Dock; Champlin’s had sought a 3-acre expansion.
Zarrella charges that Livingston said: “I can tell you right now that they’re [Champlin’s] not going anywhere with that argument... Those two marinas are not the same and they’re nothing alike... It is ridiculous to compare the applications... [Champlin’s is] wasting everybody’s time.”
At the end of Friday’s curtailed hearing, CRMC counsel Brian A. Goldman said, “Since the chair [Livingston] and the council only received this motion minutes before the hearing was due to open, she needs an opportunity to make an informed decision.”
Goldman said the CRMC hearing would be rescheduled as expeditiously as possible.