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Friday, September 29, 2023

Deal on Point Judith aquaculture?

Decision on disputed Point Judith Pond oyster farm project postponed

By Nancy Lavin, Rhode Island Current

Coastal regulators postponed a decision Tuesday on a disputed Point Judith Pond oyster farm.

Instead, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council opted to push a public hearing and decision two its Oct. 24 after the applicant and opposing neighbors put forth an eleventh-hour compromise agreement.

The agreement, outlined in a two-page letter obtained by Rhode Island Current, would end the opposition by area residents to a proposed half-acre oyster and quahog farm in the pond by adding half a dozen conditions to the project. 

The project proposed by South Kingstown resident Andrew Van Hemelrijck initially drew outcry from nearly two dozen property owners along Narraganett’s Mollusk Drive who claimed the farm would interfere with their ability to boat, fish and otherwise enjoy the pond.

Proposed conditions of the agreement include reducing the height of the cages (all of which are bottom-anchored rather than floating), limiting the number of floating buoys and removing the cleaning cages from the land and pond, among others. 

Anthony DeSisto, attorney for the CRMC, said the proposal appears to have consensus from both sides. However, a separate challenge to the public notice for the application prompted the council to postpone a hearing.

Van Hemelrijck and his attorney both declined to comment on Tuesday.



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