Over the last four years, Niantic Bay Shellfish Farm (NBSF) has grown both oysters and scallops in East Lyme waters. During these years, we have tried our best to run a small business founded on the following principles
1) Providing the highest quality shellfish
2) Growing a sustainable and green product (shellfish) that does not require outside input (feed, fertilizer, fresh water etc.)
3) Help to re-establish the Native Niantic Bay Scallop
4) Provide for my family while employing others
5) Continue the historic tradition of the working waterfront in East Lyme
While we have had many successes, these did not come easy nor without many failures and unnecessary roadblocks placed by those opposed to our shellfishing operations. The most recent attempt to waylay our operation has been carried out by the most senior levels of East Lyme’s government. Currently, a Cease and Desist (C&D) has been issued by the Town of East Lyme for my shellfishing operations based from Marker 7 Marina, 109-111 Main Street. I have had multiple meetings with the Town and my neighbors regarding this issue, to no agreeable outcome. Consequently, the First Selectman was “requested” by an undisclosed source to stop my activities. The Zoning Enforcement officer was then “directed” to issue a C&D prior to even “completing his investigation.”
It is our belief that this C&D has no merit and is being waged as a tool to unfairly restrict permitted and historic uses of my business at the subject property in the Commercial Marine Zone (CM).
The C&D has two primary claims:
1) NBSF is operating a shellfish processing plant which is expressly forbidden in the CM zone.
2) NBSF is operating under a Coastal Area Management Site Plan (CAM) that does not allow for commercial use. In fact, marina’s are restricted to recreational vessels only.
NBSF has two primary counter arguments:
1) NBSF does not operate a processing plant, we do not even hold the necessary permits. Even if we were to “process,” processing is not excluded, a processing plant is. Any activity that we do, which the Town may consider “processing”, contrary to the USDA, FDA, and Code of Federal Regulations, occurs beyond the high tide mark and thus outside the purvey of Town Zoning.
2) NBSF is not only in compliance with CAM but our activities are exempt from CAM by East Lyme’s very own regulations.
I, as a business owner, father and husband trying to make ends meet, ask that you come to the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting this Monday, January 13th, at 6:30pm at the East Lyme Town Hall. Furthermore, I ask that you listen to both sides and if what I and my counsel present to you is true, please speak on my behalf during Public Delegations. Sadly, the Town of East Lyme is unjustly jeopardizing my family's livelihood in an attempt to appease an undisclosed party or parties.
I hope to see you there,
Timothy A Londregan III
The first link is to the Cease and Desist order issued to NBSF from the Town of East Lyme
The second link is to the formal Appeal Letter to the Town of East Lyme from NBSF