Destin City Council says ‘no’ to new 253ft dock at Gilligan’s Watersports

During last night’s Destin City Council meeting, the council discussed the construction of a new commercial dock at Gilligan’s on the Destin Harbor. 

  • MRD Associates, on behalf of Mike Abadie of ABC Amusement Co, submitted an application for the construction of a 4,353 square foot, 253′ long, 17-slip wooden dock to the east of the existing 20-slip Gilligan’s docking facility at 530 Harbor Boulevard. 

The dock would be designed to accommodate charter boats, and according to Michael Dombrowski of MRD Associates, 15 of the 17 boat slips have already been contacted by charter boat companies.

However, the proposal was met with resistance. Many residents wanted the council to wait until the Harbor Capacity study was complete before approving the dock. Councilman Jim Bagby made a motion to not approve the new dock, citing concerns that it would negatively impact the riparian rights of others in the Destin Harbor. 

  • Riparian rights refer to the rights of waterfront property owners to access and use the water adjoining their property. 
  • Staff was unable to clarify whether or not this would be the case. 

There were also no restrictions as to what types of vessels could operate at the dock, according to the city. When asked if he would be willing to add restrictions to the proposed dock, Mike Abadie (owner of Gilligan’s) said that while he is not interested in renting slips to livery vessels, he opted to not have it included as part of the plan.

Dombrowski argued that the marina would not impede on riparian rights, as the existing Gilligan’s dock is in-between the proposed site and Destin Harbor Place and the other riparian rights line is at Harbor Docks, which Dombrowski says have not expressed any opposition to the dock. 

Additionally, the dock met the 20% rule for the city of Destin, as well as for the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, according to the applicant. 

  • The permits for the marina are currently under review by both agencies and are expected to be received within the next three months, according to Dombrowski. 

The council ultimately voted 3-2 to not allow the dock to move forward.

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