By Phil Orlandella
It appears that the battle between Save Our North End Waterfront (SONEW), a group of residents, and the potential developers of a major hotel on Lewis Wharf has rekindled itself with the gloves being put back on again and the battle lines drawn.
Michael Maine, leader of the group and a North End resident, has already reacted to public statements by John Moriarty regarding the future of Lewis Wharf Hotel.
He plans to build with Philip DeNormandie, which has no real support by the neighborhood and local elected officials, Senator Joe Boncore, Representative Aaron Michlewitz and city Counselor Sal Lamattina.
“We are deeply disappointed to learn that the developers are continuing to move forward with and ill-advised proposal for a massive luxury hotel on Boston Harbor’s historic Lewis Wharf, despite overwhelming neighborhood opposition and the concerned with the proposal,” Malm said in a statement released by SONEW.
More than 1,000 community residents have signed a petition in opposition to this project SONEW reported.
The Department of Environmental Protection interpreted its regulations to conclude that the deteriorated piles in the water sheet east of Lewis Wharf, where piles are not visible at high tide, cannot be used for the proposed development.
“This decision validates concerns we have been raising to the BPDA for over a year,” Malm said.
SONEW feels that this project is “clearly not as-of-right, it will require exceptions from the city flood hazard zoning and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and it flies in the face of efforts to make Boston more resilience in the face of rising sea levels.”
The group suggests that the “developers of the Lewis Wharf site have ignored the significant differences between the North End Waterfront residential neighborhood and the Financial and Seaport District of the city.”
They have concluded the “existing Lewis Wharf Hotel proposal is bad for the city and urged the developers and BPDA to abandon it.”