Darien developer makes deal to keep dock as public walkway

Darien developer makes deal to keep dock as public walkway

DARIEN, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Darien’s Planning and Zoning board approved a request from the developer of Oaks on the River, but it includes a special condition.

Art Lucas, the developer of the city’s newest condominium-hotel complex, has agreed to sell the existing dock along the waterfront to the city for free in return for the variance.

The city currently requires a 10-foot public walkway along the waterfront, which Lucas said would negatively impact the development’s plans:

  • Space is limited on the hotel property. Oaks on the River plans to include water sports and other outdoor activities.
  • Unrestricted access to the property for the general public creates security and liability issues.

Lucas told WTOC that, instead of using property land for the walkway, the existing dock will be used as the required public walkway.

According to the City, the existing dock was originally supposed to be torn down after council members approved, in December 2019, a new dock to be built part of Oaks on the River.

Lucas said some residents might not approve of the changes right now, but believes the development will help the city’s economy grow down the road.

“I want to make people feel good and have a win-win,” Lucas said. "Now we have this dock we can deem, which, if the city fixes it up, I think it’d be a great thing for everybody. People can walk along the river and we’d still have room to do our development.”

The approved variance request, with the special condition, will move to Darien City Council. Members will vote on the proposal at their next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m.

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