Work on Fenwick comp plan starts Saturday

Fenwick Island residents, town officials and other interested parties will soon get to have their first say on a town comprehensive plan.

After delay beginning the plan and much discussion about the necessity of one, work on Fenwick Island’s first and state-mandated, comprehensive plan will begin with an extensive meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at town hall.

The plan will “lay the groundwork,” as one town councilman put it, for future ordinances, land use and design decisions.

“Our town needs to have much longer-range planning in place and we need to have guidelines that will help us reach good conclusions, zoning issues and ordinances,” Chris Clark, a Fenwick town councilman and long-time proponent of developing a plan, said in an earlier interview. “In order for zoning and ordinances to have a good legal basis, they have to be put into place in accordance with a comp plan,” he said.

Town residents, elected officials and a Colorado company approved last month to help conceive the plan will begin the process Saturday by outlining a schedule, delegating responsibilities and determining a mission for the town’s first comprehensive plan.

Officials also plan to study the state requirements, outline the “next steps” and discuss similar projects in other towns. Saturday’s meeting is scheduled to end at 1:30 p.m. Follow-up comprehensive plan meetings are preliminarily scheduled for Feb. 3 and March 24, 2007.

“There are a lot of things that are falling into place nicely,” Clark said earlier, specifically noting the convenience of combing the design element with the comprehensive plan.

Fenwick Island town council voted 5-1 in a special meeting last month to approve Bluegreen Aspen’s $49,400 proposal to help to conceive the plan, which includes a design element to liven the town’s business district along Route 1. Bluegreen’s officials work on planning and design projects mostly in Colorado but have worked with out-of-state clients, according to its owner and it’s Web site at

The planning, design and project management firm founded in 2001 in Aspen, Col. presented a proposal that was $17,000 more expensive than two local proposals but included the design elements that the others did not. According to Fenwick officials, a design element was something they had planned to explore in the future. And there is a local connection

“We’re really excited to be a part of (the project),” said Sheri Sanzone, a principal/owner of the firm, whose parents have owned property in Fenwick for a decade. “We work in mountain resort communities a lot that are dealing a lot of the same kind of (growth) pressure that beachfront communities are experiencing.”