David Southworth, the new owner of the Abaco Club at Winding Bay, met with residents of Little Harbour on January 8 to discuss his plans to put dockage and other facilities in the harbour community.
Mr. Southworth said he plans to put in a 44-slip marina in front of a private home owned by the Abaco Club, and convert the house itself into a sundries store, selling ice, beer and boat supplies, plus a snack bar. There would also be covered parking and a storage building across the road.
He promised there would be no fuel or power on the docks, and no boat storage. He said the EIA had already been done, and there would be “absolutely no dredging.” There would be a security guard, but no lights other than motion sensors. Power would be solar – like the rest of Little Harbour – with “limited generator backup.”
There would be no desalinization plant – water would be trucked in or piped in.
Slips would sell to Club members for around $125,000. About 10 slips would be kept for use by the Club itself. The largest boats would be 30-35 feet in length. If the docks interfered with existing moorings “a solution will be worked out.”
When asked about the Little Harbour road, which is a private 2-mile dirt road, Mr. Southworth said he felt it should remain a dirt road to slow people down, and he would go along with whatever Little Harbour residents wanted to do with respect to its maintenance.
Mr. Southworth said “I get what Little Harbour is all about. This is a partnership. We want to be part of the community.” He promised to keep residents informed of progress in finalizing plans, and to provide copies of the EIA and the dock plans.
Some residents of Little Harbour are unenthusiastic about the plans. Many feel that a 44 slip marina is far too big for this small, peaceful anchorage to absorb comfortably, especially if it resulted in a large increase in boat and road traffic.
“They want to turn a private home into a marina, boat store and snack bar,” said one resident. “If we had zoning in Little Harbour, there’s no way they could do that. We certainly couldn’t buy a house in Winding Bay and turn it into a marina, so why should they be allowed to come into our community and do that?”
Mr. Southworth admitted that this was the first time his company had planned to put in a facility “off-site,” but that “the idea of putting in docks is very appealing to Club members.”