DNREC Approves New Marina Project

FENWICK ISLAND – An application to construct a marina outside the town limits of Fenwick Island received state approval late last month.

In December, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Shawn Garvin issued a permit order authorizing Christopher at the Townes at Bayshore Village, LLC to construct and operate an 18-slip marina with two piers and five boat lifts off Lighthouse Road west of Fenwick Island.

The decision, announced last week, comes nearly a year after community members shared their concerns regarding the project.

Last February, the DNREC Division of Water, Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Sections held a public hearing on the proposed permit application, which outlined plans for a community docking facility associated with the redevelopment of the former Lighthouse Cove Residential Community. In addition to the construction of a dock, the permit will allow the developer to dredge a portion of public subaqueous lands and two unnamed lagoons southeast of Lighthouse Cove Lane.

While most of the property’s boat slips would be located over private subaqueous land to the east and west of the site, six of the proposed slips to the north of the property would be located on public subaqueous land.

Community members in attendance at last year’s public hearing argued those six slips would impact navigation for boats entering and exiting the canal.

Although the project would be located outside town limits, officials in Fenwick Island were also present at last year’s meeting to share their concerns. Councilman Bill Weistling said the north-end boat slips would impact town properties to the east of the proposed marina.

“That canal that runs east of that, there are approximately 40 to 42 properties,” he said. “Not all of these properties have been developed, but it is a very busy canal. Boats will be coming out and making that turn to go out to the bay … I think it could be a very congested corner there.”

Comments from last year’s hearing were sent to Garvin as he began his considerations for the proposed marina project. A public notice issued last week announced the permit application had been approved.

The secretary’s order is available for inspection at the DNREC Division of Water, Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section, or on the DNREC website.

Any person substantially affected by the order can appeal to the Environmental Appeals Board within 20 days of the announcement.

The developer’s permit application will be the second submitted for the Lighthouse Cove site in recent years. In 2019, developers with Lighthouse Cove Investors, LLC withdrew their application in response to objections from several nearby property owners.