There is growing opposition to a long-term plan by Yachting Solutions to extend its private pier, bisecting a heavily used channel and forcing the relocation of 54 moorings.

The opposition to the plan is reminiscent of a grassroots movement that twice blossomed to stop a proposal by the Samoset Resort for construction of a lengthy private pier that would have run parallel to the Rockland Breakwater.

Yachting Solutions unveiled its plans to the Rockland Harbor Management Commission in November. A formal presentation is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, before the Rockland City Council.

The initial part of the project is a modest one to add floats and pilings alongside the property of Rockland Harbor Park LLC — where DST (formerly Boston Financial) is located. If regulatory approval is received from the Rockland Planning Board, Maine Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that work could begin in about a year.

The second phase of the proposal has no specific timetable, but would not begin until after 2020, according to engineer Michael Sabatini.

The project would provide 2,200 feet of new dockage at the facility, which will be dedicated solely to eligible transient vessels. Also included are the installation of 100-amp and 480V 3-phase power, in-slip fueling, and the conversion of an existing gazebo into a transient boaters' lounge.

Yachting Solutions received a federal grant of $1,046,760 for the project.

This second phase could result in the elimination of the southern channel in Rockland Harbor.

That possibility has been met with strong opposition from many boat owners who say they use that southern channel because it is less congested than the main federal channel.

And one common theme voiced by opponents is a concern that the project is favoring wealthy owners of large yachts over boat owners who are less well-off.

Similar criticisms were voiced when the Samoset Resort twice proposed building a pier running parallel on the inside of the Rockland Breakwater.

The first effort came in 2000, when the resort proposed an 850-foot pier about 200 feet inside the Breakwater to serve up to 40 boats.

The project immediately faced opposition from lobstermen, schooner captains and citizens. A group named "Save the Breakwater" formed to oppose the project.

The Rockland City Council voted 3-2 in March 2001 against a zone change needed for the marina to move forward. In May 2001, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection rejected a permit for the marina, saying it would be detrimental to the Breakwater, and determined that fuel and waste from boats would potentially impact the water quality and impact lobster fishing nearby.

In March 2006, the Samoset proposed a 775-foot pier adjacent to the Breakwater that would serve 45 residential units that the resort was planning to build.

The same groups rallied to oppose this version of the pier. In December 2006, 23 lobstermen signed a petition in opposition.

The Rockland City Council gave initial approval in March 2007 to a zone change to allow for the residences on the Rockland side of the Samoset property.

The pier project was sunk, however, when the DEP rejected a permit. One issue raised by the DEP was that the pier would interfere with the view of the Breakwater from Marie "Sis" Reed Park at the end of the Samoset Road and other shorefront locations in Rockland.