SNOW HILL – County officials reviewed plans for the redevelopment of a Snow Hill marina this week.
On Wednesday, the Worcester County Technical Review Committee (TRC) provided comments on plans for Baywater Landing Marina. Property owners plan to improve the site with a restaurant and aquaculture operation.
“The overall project is really meant to be kind of a nine month a year operation,” co-owner Lee Beauchamp said.
Beauchamp told TRC members the property had once been Hargus Marina and later Riggin’s Marine.
“We remember as kids being able to go and have a little bait and tackle shop and it was a really neat little set up down there,” he said. “That really kind of fell away and it’s really just been neglected for many years.”
He and a partner decided to buy the site and redevelop it when it came up for sale. They’re envisioning the current marina setup with the addition of aquaculture, a restaurant and a small marina store. Beauchamp said they’d continue to rent out the existing 34 boat slips.
“We also have a restaurateur that’s expressed interest in having a restaurant set up there,” he said.
The eatery would not be open year-round but would serve customers from roughly St. Patrick’s Day through Thanksgiving, or possibly Christmas.
In addition, Beauchamp said he and his partner had started Baywater Seafood.
“That will be specializing in bay scallops,” he said. “The aquaculture operation there, the bulk of the operation will happen offshore in Chincoteague Bay and then we’ll bring the product back there, unload it, and give it a light rinse to improve the presentation of the product and then it will be put into packaging and stored in cold storage until it’s ready to be sent out to different restaurants and markets in the area.”
The redevelopment plan for the property includes demolition of the existing buildings on the site and construction of a 4,818-square-foot building. Beauchamp said half the building would be used for the aquaculture operation and the rest would be made up of the restaurant and the store, which will have vending machines and eventually some bait and tackle.
“If somebody came down and wanted to rent crab nets or buy bait and tackle you would have a little bit of that assortment available in the summer time,” he said.
TRC members voiced no major concerns with the proposed redevelopment but said the site would need more landscaping and would have to meet parking requirements. In addition, developers will have to apply to the Worcester County Board of Zoning Appeals for a special exception to allow for seafood processing.