ROCKLAND — Two state agencies made decisions Tuesday, Dec. 7 in support of Safe Harbor Marinas expansion proposal for Rockland Harbor.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Melanie Loyzim signed an approval of a Natural Resources Protection Act permit for the expanded marina.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s submerged land division issued findings and gave preliminary approval for the expansion. Final approval will await the end of the public response period on Jan. 7.

The project includes dredging an area 138,000 square feet. The expansion of the float system includes four 150-foot long fingers to the east of the main pier; a 90-foot finger to the west; and a 115-foot long and a 172-foot string of floats to the west.

Safe Harbor has also agreed to pay for the cost of moving 16 moorings that have to be relocated by the proposed marina expansion. They will also help the city assign the moorings close to where they are currently located.

City officials said at their Nov. 1 meeting the city attorney and Safe Harbor have been working on coming up with an agreement to ensure public access to the boardwalk. The boardwalk was built by MBNA when they opened the waterfront office complex in 2001. Rockland Harbor Park LLC, led by local developer Stuart Smith, purchased the property in 2007.

Safe Harbor also agreed to allow limited access to the pier at the marina, improve public access to Sandy Beach and help with a public bathroom to replace the portable toilets at the city-owned beach.

The original, more expansive plan, was submitted back in 2018 by Yachting Solutions. Safe Harbors has yet to file any formal plans to the city for changes on the land side of its property although it showed a few city officials a potential plan earlier this year.

Opponents have voiced concern about loss of scenic view of the harbor.

The preliminary findings by the submerged land bureau is linked below.

SHM Rockland Preliminary Findings