Committee Will Lead Fenwick Commercial District Study

FENWICK ISLAND – A new ad hoc committee is expected to guide Fenwick Island as it moves forward with a planning study of the commercial district.

Last Friday, Fenwick Island Mayor Gene Langan announced the creation of a new ad hoc commercial district planning committee.

“At the last meeting, we agreed to sign a contract with The Design Group, an architectural firm that will be working with us on plans for the commercial district,” he said. “In that regard, we’ve set up an ad hoc commercial district planning committee.”

In March, the Fenwick Island Town Council approved a request from town staff to move forward with a planning study of the town’s commercial areas. Officials said the study would explore possible design guidelines and recommend possible changes to the town’s ordinance that would achieve a more desirable look for the commercial district.

“We can choose whether or not to make them ordinances, or we can choose if we want them to be guidelines,” Town Manager Terry Tieman said in March. “But I do think it’s an opportunity for input from the residents and the community to talk to us about what we really want to see Fenwick look like.”

Langan last week said the committee would work with community members as plans for the commercial district are explored.

“Their charge is to come back to the council, after they’ve met with residents and businesses, with a conceivable plan for how we would move forward with commercial zoning,” he said.

Langan said Councilman Richard Mais would chair the committee, which would include members Winnie Lewis, Faye Horner, Bill Weistling and Reid Tingle. Councilwoman Vicki Carmean, however, shared her concerns with representation.

“I am concerned, and it has nothing to do with the people who are presently on this committee,” she said. “It is top-heavy with ocean-side people. I think the only bayside person is Winnie. I would urge you to consider adding a few bayside people.”

Councilwoman Julie Lee agreed with Carmean. She also asked the committee chair to consider adding more members.

“The people on that committee are well-informed, longtime residents of Fenwick Island,” she said. “However, they are also very much like-minded, and I think we would benefit that committee to have some fresh, new people to serve on it.”

Lee said new ideas would benefit the town as it moves forward with planning for the commercial district.

“I think it would be good to have newer residents with fresh ideas to add to this committee as we move forward,” she said, “to try and gather some information and make some decisions about architecture and building in the commercial district.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.