Southport Yacht Center Looks for Funding, Site Plan Approval

Cape Charles Wave

Cela Burge outlines plans for Yacht Center to Town Council.

July 1, 2012

Southport Investors want to build a yacht repair center at the head of Cape Charles harbor. They’ve filed site plans for the development with the town. But they’re faltering over the cost of installing utilities.

“The Southport group is not asking for anything,” attorney Cela Burge told the Cape Charles Town Council June 28. But she did ask the council to work with the investment group as they seek state and federal funding for wastewater infrastructure.

Southport investor Eyre Baldwin has been talking about the yacht center for years. He’s floated several rounds of public meetings, making detailed Powerpoint presentations to local boards about the economic impact their regional plan could have on Northampton County.

But the site plan has been a long time coming to the Cape Charles town office. And site plan approval is one of many hurdles the company must clear before the business can open.

If the yacht center is built as depicted, it will have three floating docks attached to the southeast end of the harbor, next to the Coast Guard station. Two travel lift piers and a pad are integrated into this portion of the design.

A 600-foot floating dock, with water and electric hook-ups, is planned to run along the south harbor bulkhead. This dock would extend well beyond their property line and out into the water in front of Tom Gallagher’s parcel.

A walkway made of permeable pavers would surround the waterfront. There would be a stone surface boatyard next to the Coast Guard station, and most of the other road surfaces would be made of stone. The development would include a repair shop, an office, two areas for multi-rack dry boat storage, fuel tanks, a Washmaster system for cleaning the yachts, and a SaniSailor vacuum system for pump-outs.

The edges of the property would be landscaped with junipers and roses.

Dave Fauber, director of Cape Charles’ public utilities, responded June 25 to the Southport site plan with four pages of comments. Among them, he said:

“Before a land disturbance permit can be issued, U.S Corps of Engineers, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, DCR (VSMP Permit), DEQ permits and other required federal, state and local laws and regulations shall be obtained and evidence of such submitted to the Town of Cape Charles.”

Burge said the revised permit was submitted to the Army Corps in June, and could take weeks or months for approval.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Burge acknowledged that “there have been some rocky and dry periods of communication between Southport and the council” — an allusion to a Southport suit against the town which Cape Charles officials say cost the town $80,000 in legal fees. “I know it’s not their desire,” she said. “I’d be glad to come back any time to do periodic status conferences.”

Cape Charles Yacht Center site plan



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