Proposed Marina Outside Fenwick Raises Concerns

Proposed Marina Outside Fenwick Raises Concerns
A proposed site plan for a marina at the Fenwick Light redevelopment is shown. Rendering by Civil Engineering Associates, LLC

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials in Fenwick Island this week agreed to send a letter of concern regarding the development of a proposed marina on Lighthouse Cove Lane.

On Monday, the Fenwick Island Town Council convened in a special meeting to discuss a proposed 22-slip minor marina along the bulkheads of a new development on Lighthouse Cove Lane.

According to a subaqueous lands lease, permit, water quality and marina application sent to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the marina would be part of a larger redevelopment project to be named Fenwick Light.

Located just north of Route 54, the property would feature 19 new townhomes and 22 watercraft slips on the canals east, west and north of the development.

And while the property is located outside town limits, officials this week identified ways in which the proposed marina could impact incorporated properties and water navigation. Of the 22 proposed watercraft slips, six would be located on public subaqueous land to the north of the redeveloped property, making the width of the canal narrower for boats docking at properties along Oyster Bay Drive.

“I think that’s an area of concern for some people,” Town Manager Terry Tieman said.

Oyster Bay Drive resident Ray Fager said additional boat slips to the north of the Fenwick Light community would add to existing navigation issues along the canal.

“This is like driving a truck with a trailer behind it and going around a corner in a 90-degree turn,” he said. “And then you have WaveRunners, paddleboarders, kayakers and all kind of things coming in there. You see more and more traffic there all the time. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Fenwick Island resident Bill Weistling agreed.

“It’s probably the tightest spot of the canal,” he said, “and they are taking it out maybe another 15 feet or more to put the six slips in.”

Tieman, however, said it was unclear how much space the six slips would occupy in the canal.

“We are just not sure,” she said.

Weistling also noted the application failed to specify certain findings from a siting and design study of the marina.

“They mention there is no impact to neighboring properties, but they didn’t give any additional information …,” he said.

Fager also argued that several Oyster Bay residents were never contacted about the proposed marina.

“Several of my neighbors didn’t get notices,” he said, “me included.”

Weistling added that most of the concerns involved the six slips in the public canal.

“What affects us is what they do at the north end of that property and how it will affect Fenwick properties …,” he said. “I don’t believe there is enough information.”

Mayor Gene Langan agreed.

“I don’t think we should oppose this, but I think we have enough questions we need answered,” he said. “We really don’t have enough information to make an informed decision right now.”

To that end, the council voted unanimously to send a letter of concern to DNREC stating the town’s issues with the proposed marina on Lighthouse Cove Lane and requesting additional information. The council also agreed to request a public hearing on the proposed project.

“I think we have to look after the welfare of people over in the Oyster Bay community,” Councilwoman Vicki Carmean said.

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.