Please publish our open letter to the Southworth Company.
Dear Mr. Southworth,
As a follow up to our meeting on January 8, 2015, we as members of the Association of Little Harbour Property Owners, would like to thank you for meeting with us, especially as it was on such short notice.
While we appreciated your efforts to communicate Southworth’s future plans as you assume majority ownership and management of the Abaco Club, it was probably not too difficult to discern that many of the ALHPO members have major concerns about your plans to build a 44-slip marina and restaurant in Little Harbour.
In a nutshell we believe a 44-slip marina would dramatically alter the character of Little Harbour. It is way out of proportion, considering the limited size of the village and the harbour. It will choke off boat space in what is the best naturally protected anchorage in South Abaco. The inevitable fuel and oil spills, as well as debris and other discharges (i.e. sewage) from 44 boats will seriously spoil the ecology of an already fragile marine environment.
On the land the parking facilities, the solar array, and generator station will turn a quaint, narrow thoroughfare that links up the village into a chaotic bottleneck.
If, as you stated at the meeting, you do truly “get” Little Harbour, you have to recognize that in order to fulfill the commercial interests of the current Abaco Club owners, as well as to attract new owners, a 44-slip marina will sacrifice the uniqueness that has made Little Harbour a Bahamian landmark.
Considering the lengthy list of reasons Little Harbour is the wrong place for a marina, we call on you to consider other options where road, water, power and fuel facilities are already available, where there is a need for a restaurant or snack bar instead of adding one that is only a 200 yard walk to Pete’s Pub, and where there is a community that could use the economic benefits of a marina and would offer job opportunities to local residents who could walk to work.
With all of the above in mind, we want to conclude this letter by emphasizing that we would like to have good relations with Southworth, but we are not prepared to have the character and integrity of our community destroyed. Of course we know from our experience in trying to challenge the construction of the new BEC power station on the fringes of land that had previously been proposed as a national park, that if the government gives approval to a plan, no matter if it defies all logic and reason, it will happen.
However, we also cannot stand idly by and watch a community that we cherish, not to mention a community we have invested in, altered. Therefore, we call on you to reconsider your plans. We will be happy to work with you to find a suitable alternative but please understand that we believe that a 44-slip marina defies the most basic principles of environmental protection, town planning and land management. It is analogous to trying to ram an oversized square peg down a round hole. It simply will not fit.
Joe Kirwin, Elizabeth Ackerly, Lynn Allison, Richard Appaldo, Bob and Ali Ball, Dave Barton, John and Cheryl Bredin, Nathalie Brenac, Kenny Broad, Amy Clement, Edward Fessenden, Darlene Haines, Gayle Haines, Gary Hawman, Mary Leming, Jerry Lower, Allen and Cheryl Page, Clay and Jennifer Primrose