Revised Restaurant Plan OK’d

OCEAN CITY – The Rivendell project came before the Planning and Zoning Commission again this week with a revised site plan that deals more specifically with a future restaurant.

The Hobbit, which is to be located on the first floor of the condominium project located between 80th and 81st streets, was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission with a revised site plan Tuesday night.  Many of the site plan revisions centered around the on-going concerns and negotiations between the Rivendell project and its neighbors.

Concerns over the Rivendell have been prominent over the past few months, with complaints voiced to the Mayor and Council on several occasions. Concerns led to contention between the project and the neighboring Bay Princess Condominium and Triton’s Trumpet Condominium when it was discovered that the neighbors’ suspicions were correct – the building was indeed five feet taller than was originally planned.

The council advised the owners of the project, the Buccini-Pollin Group, to meet with the neighbors and come to some sort of compromise over the pending issues. Nearly all of the problems were dealt with through negotiations and through a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

At the public hearing, the revised height was approved. A compromise was also met regarding The Hobbit and its dumpsters. Tommy Heiderman, owner of The Hobbit, conceded to have his dumpsters moved, despite the inconvenience of the new location.

The issue of air compressors along the side of the restaurant remained unsolved, however. Neighbors voiced concerns over the excess noise that would result from the air compressors, which were originally planned to be located on the roof. Heiderman maintained that there was no other viable location for the compressors. The commission held off on a decision, recommending instead that further negotiations take place in an attempt to reach a compromise.

The issue came to the forefront this week, with a revised site plan being presented to the commission. The revised plan shows two less condensing units along the side of the building, with screening, fencing and landscaping planned to muffle the noise emanating from the air compressors. As a result of the additional landscaping and screening, changes to the sidewalk were made.

Calvin Jenkins, attorney representing the Bay Princess, noted for the record that the Bay Princess was in agreement with the changes.

The commission also addressed a few changes, with chairwoman Pamela Buckley requesting the un-loading for the restaurant take place off the street. It was also requested the end of the sidewalk, which leads into the enhanced beatification area, be widened to make up for the loss in sidewalk width and to enhance the overall look of the area.

The commission voted unanimously to make a favorable recommendation to the council.

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