Zoning dispute stalls boatyard plan in Connecticut

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The battle over a new boatyard and hedge fund corporate campus proposed for Stamford, Conn., made international news despite the appearance of an agreement being struck three months ago.

The Australia Business Insider had a headline in Wednesday’s online publication that read: “Ray Dalio’s awesome new mega-campus is being stalled by small-town bureaucracy.”

A zoning disagreement has been ongoing involving a boatyard and Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund company with plans to relocate to a new $750 million, 850,000-square-foot headquarters on 14 acres in Stamford.

The developer, Building and Land Technology, razed the boatyard from the site in question without zoning approval, raising questions about whether the project could clear the hurdles necessary to move forward, the Stamford Advocate reported.

Under a proposed agreement, the developer would build a new 6-acre boatyard in the Shippan neighborhood of Stamford, a significant portion of which would be on city-owned land, and finance $5 million worth of public improvements.

Yet three months later, the license agreement outlining the conditions of Building and Land Technology's use of city property for the boatyard, as well as its infrastructure contributions, is yet to be finalized. Without the critical document, neither the new boatyard nor Bridgewater can move forward in the city approval process. As of last week, there was no indication of any progress in the dialogue between the two sides.

On Monday, Building and Land Technology general counsel and spokesman John Freeman said he was not involved in the negotiations and did not know when the license agreement would be completed.

On Wednesday night a heated hearing took place among stakeholders and town residents.

Maureen Boylan, founder of the grassroots group Save Our Boatyard, reminded the state that Building and Land Technology ended the lease with the peninsula's longtime boatyard operator, then illegally tore out the boatyard buildings 18 months ago.

The second meeting will take place Monday night, Boylan said in an email thanking those who came in support of the boatyard.

Click here for the Advocate report.

Click here for the Business Insider report.

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