DARIEN, Ga. (WTOC) - Construction on Darien’s new condominium complex/hotel/restaurant, Oaks on the River, is slowly progressing. The property sits along Darien’s waterfront, off Fort King George Drive.
The developer is now proposing to add a private pier and floating dock. However, the old dock must be torn down.
The current dock is more than 4,000 sq. ft. and docks around 15 shrimp boats. The proposal calls for an almost 3,000 sq. ft. pier and dock for customers and residents.
The plan is causing concerns amongst shrimp boat captains, like Wynn Gale.
“There’s a little narrow place there for two big old boats to pass," said Gale, looking at a copy of the plan. "It’s going to be interesting.”
According to the proposal, the pier extends 20 feet farther into the Darien River than the municipal dock. In addition, there’s around 150 feet between the proposed dock and municipal one.
Is that enough space? It’s one of the issues the City of Darien wants to address.
“How far out does the pier go out in the river? Does it interfere with navigation up and down the river?," explained Kieran McMullen, the city’s building inspector. "Will it interfere with the municipal docks?”
A big question for shrimpers: Where else can I dock my boat?
“I honestly can’t answer that question," said McMullen. "I don’t know what happens at that point.”
Gale shared with WTOC that some boat captains are already looking and moving to other docks outside of Darien, which worries him. He said the shrimping industry could get a little more difficult.
“We lost the ice docks, a fuel dock and a boat space and a railway — all for one development,” Gale said.
City leaders are encouraging residents to attend a public hearing on the proposal. It starts at 6 p.m. on December 9, inside City Hall.
After public comment, the planning and zoning committee with either table the proposal for further study, or send it to city council. If city council approves the plan, then the Department of Natural Resources Division and Army Corps of Engineers will take a look at it.
If you’d like a copy of the proposal, they are available at City Hall during regular business hours.