The Borough of Fenwick was created by a Special Act of the Connecticut State Legislature in 1899.
Fenwick is a municipality, just like a city or town, and is governed by a Board of Warden and six Burgesses elected in May of every odd numbered year. A Treasurer, Clerk and Tax Collector are also elected. Section 2 of the Special Act describes the criteria for Electors. An elector can vote, hold elective office and be a member of a Commission. In addition to elected officials, the Borough employs a Manager, Business Manager, Zoning Enforcement Officer/Land Use Administrator, and Building Official. The CT River Area Health District provides health and sanitation services and the Town of Old Saybrook provides Fire Marshall services.
Fenwick and Old Saybrook
While the Borough is a municipality, it is also a political subdivision of the Town of Old Saybrook and residents pay property taxes to both the Borough of Fenwick and Old Saybrook. Fenwick receives police, school, and volunteer fire and ambulance services from Old Saybrook.
The Special Act and the Borough Ordinances set forth the rules of governance. The following Commissions are appointed by the Board of Warden and Burgesses: Planning and Zoning Commission; Inland Wetlands Agency; Zoning Board of Appeals; Harbor Management Commission with a Harbor Master appointed by the Governor; Historic District Commission and Park Commission which maintains the park land including the public golf course. All of the Borough’s Commission and committee members are volunteers, and all must meet qualifications as required by law.
In 1975 all Borough land east of Maple Avenue was designated an Historic District and became subject to the Historic Preservation Regulations of the Connecticut General Statutes and the Borough of Fenwick. A Certificate of Appropriateness is needed for all new structures and any changes to the exterior of an existing home. This includes outside hardscapes. The Borough of Fenwick is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Lynde Point Land Trust
The Lynde Point Land Trust is a 501c3 entity formed in 1991 to help protect the parklands in Fenwick. It holds conservation easements on most Borough land and itself owns a portion of the Connecticut River shore, the Hepburn Family Preserve and the Webster Preserve. The Land Trust secures grant monies for environmental preservation and restoration, supports community educational programs and helps manage work being done to control invasive plants on our park land. It is supported through private donations.
We are a small community enjoying our very special spot on Long Island Sound. By respecting our neighbors, the land and the rules, we live together in harmony.