Ferry Point Marina Restaurant Dispute Continues
At a fifth hearing Wednesday evening, the county Board of Appeals again continued the permitting dispute over whether Ferry Point Marina should be allowed to build a successor to Magothy Seafood on its property.
Even if Anne Arundel County gives final approval for a new restaurant at Ferry Point Marina, it is unlikely to be open for guests this summer.
At a fifth hearing Wednesday evening, the county Board of Appeals again continued the permitting dispute over whether Ferry Point Marina should be allowed to build a successor to Magothy Seafood on its property. The board members will conduct a second site visit to the Mill Creek Road marina in Arnold on Saturday, and then wait for written closing statements from attorneys. The earliest a decision can be rendered is late July.
A proponent of the project said the restaurant could be ready to go in as few as 10 weeks after the matter is settled.
The issue is two-fold. Opponents say the restaurant will be built in a critical area and that the county did not do a complete site review when issuing permits last year.
Anne Arundel County granted two building permits and a liquor license to Ferry Point LLC, owners of the marina since 2007. Magothy Seafood closed in late 2009 when the marina’s owners did not renew owner/waterman Don Broglie’s expiring lease. Since that time the marina has planned to open it’s own outdoor family-style neighborhood restaurant on the footprint of the last operation. The plan is to build two permanent outdoor pavilion-style buildings at a cost of $55,000, according to the permits.
The case went to the Board of Appeals in March when Twin Harbors resident Michael Lynch protested. He said the last restaurant was illegal and therefore a new one built on the same footprint will also be unlawful.
Lynch has lived directly across Mill Creek from the marina since 1987. When he moved there, Broglie was steaming and selling crabs at the marina site. Over the years he added picnic tables, got a license to sell beer and wine and eventually put a tent over the operation that became Magothy Seafood.
“All of this happened after critical areas laws were passed in 1985,” Lynch said after the hearing. “The crux of my argument is that Magothy Seafood was an illegal restaurant so building on that footprint is also illegal.” He added that he never contested the Magothy Seafood operation because he figured permits were issued as it expanded.
Much of the testimony Wednesday centered on the incorrect dimensions of the building as listed on the permit. Marina co-owner John M. Kurtz testified, “We realize that we were misled as to the size of the tent, but we are prepared to make a correction.”
Licensed civil engineer Danny Boyd also testified that under his supervision a new plat of improvements was prepared based on the correct size. “The major point is that the footprint remains exactly the same,” he added.
Lynch, however, contends that changing the dimensions and building a permanent structure is not “a replacement in kind.”
“I am challenging the fact that these permits were issued without proper review,” Lynch said. “I feel that if the county conducted a full site plan review, all of the issues would be addressed. I would possibly agree to a restaurant on the site if it went through a full review, but I do not trust the county to do it right.”
In addition to the site being in a critical area, Lynch feels issues of noise, boat and road traffic and trash removal also need to be addressed.