OCEAN CITY – The
Planning Commission was understanding this week regarding a request for more
time for site plan approval of a downtown condominium project, however the
commission made it clear that while projects may be given extra time to
commence building, vacant lots should not be left as eyesores.
“We’re not going to have
unsightly properties in Ocean
City,” said Planning and
Zoning Commission Chair Pamela Buckley this week.
The current state of the
real estate market and the economy as a whole has slowed all forms of
development in the resort. As a result, various project applicants requesting
more time before breaking ground on previously approved projects have
approached the Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as the Mayor and City
The Sunburst Townhouse
Condominium project, located on 16th Street and Coastal Highway, came before the Planning
Commission this week, with applicant Craig Boone requesting a two-year extension
of his site plan approval.
The first phase of the
project has already been completed, however two additional phases, which
consist of six more units, remain on paper only.
Currently, the site sits
empty, with no foundation or work towards the next two phases begun as of yet,
according to Boone.
“It’s a well designed
project…we want the project completed,” said Commission member Lauren Taylor,
agreeing an extension would benefit the project. “But I do think the site is
unsightly, we aren’t going to look at that for two years.”
Boone explained that
they wished to avoid grading the lot for parking to avoid having cars from
nearby establishments fill the empty lot.
“It doesn’t have to look
like a park, but we certainly don’t want it to look like a deserted site,” said
The commission voted
unanimously, with Commission member Chris Shanahan absent and member Peck
Miller abstaining, to approve the request for the two-year extension.
Similar requests have
been made and approved this year, with the approval of requests for a two-year
extension of time for site plan approval for the former Chat Street property and the proposed
mid-town Broadmarsh Condominium project.
Similarly, the Mayor and
City Council approved a building permit extension for an 18-unit condominium,
to be located at 1111 Edgewater
Avenue. The council went through several meetings
regarding the extension, in an effort to guarantee that the remaining lot be