Stop The Pools On Mariner Way

Amy Ford Keohane & John Hartig •

To the editor: The construction of three large houses plus a cottage on Mariner Way at the gateway to the Old Historic District (OHD) has left most passersby gasping in disbelief. The scale and density are in stark contrast with the area's historic charm.

Shockingly, abutters were not notified of the August 2022 HDC applications for these properties. Had we known, our coalition would have supported the HDC commissioners voicing concerns about massing and appropriateness back in 2022.

When we finally learned of the developer’s plans in April 2023, it was too late to impact the size of the homes, but we jumped in to fight the proposed pools at each of the properties with the Conservation Commission. How could not one, not two, but three pools be allowed in an already-problematic flood zone, adjacent to the wetlands and steps from the harbor?

In spite of objections from our team, The Land & Water Council, and more, the Con Com approved above-ground pools (originally in-ground). These now above-ground pools have been back at HDC for review since January 2024, and there are widespread concerns around visibility and appropriateness in the OHD from The Nantucket Preservation Trust, The Historic Structures Advisory group, and our mighty team of neighbors.

We urge readers to encourage the HDC to adhere to the principles outlined in Building with Nantucket in Mind. They have authority to rule based on “appropriateness” as they did when rejecting a garage apartment at Mariner Way as well as a “spa” at Mill Hill in 2021.

Pools are not appropriate in this setting and would put Nantucket’s status as a National Historic Landmark at risk. The preservation and protection of districts of historic interest is essential to driving tourism which is a giant benefit to the economy.

A special thank you to Commissioner Diane Coombs for her decades of service and stewardship of our historic district. She has been vocal about the houses' incongruity with the streetscape and vehemently opposes the pools at Mariner Way.

Let’s make her proud and just say no.


Amy Ford Keohane & John Hartig
Union Street

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