OCEAN CITY – A new non-motorized watersports activity is planned to join the new Town Center project in Ocean City.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a site plan of a proposed non-motorized watersport activity, Hang-Loose Paddlesports that will have stand-up paddleboards, outrigger canoes, a hunter sailboat, and catamarans for rent that will be located west of Coastal Highway on 68th Street behind the new Town Center on the Broadmarsh Lagoon.
Commission member Peck Miller stood down from the discussion being the developer of the Town Center and landlord to the proposed operation.
Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith highlighted a few staff concerns and/or questions regarding required toilet facilities for employees, signage, hours of operation, and cash collection. Smith added the operation has ample parking between the proposed site and the Town Center as well as the applicants had already received permits to construct a pier and add a floating dock for handicap accessibility.
Applicants Robert Tinus and Mike Hayman approached the commission to address the concerns.
Tinus explained the hours of operation will begin from 7 to 10 a.m. with Fitness and Yoga classes. After 10 a.m., the daily operations will begin with guided tours and lessons using the equipment available for rental, and eco-tours will be available in the evening. The operation will shut down at sunset between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“We are not lighted so we can’t do anything after dark,” he said.
Tinus continued toilet facilities will be available for employees at the Mid-Town Center. A sign will be posted on the shed and flags will be displayed on Coastal Highway directing customers to Hang-Loose Paddlesports. A shed will be transported to the site to operate the business and the plan is to have the facility follow the same design scheme as the Town Center and its neighbor, Sunset Island.
“We don’t want to be the sore thumb out there,” Tinus said.
Tinus concluded the floating dock and outrigger canoes will be handicap accessible.
“It is very hard for the handicap to have a water experience and this will allow it,” he said.
Commission member Chris Shanahan felt the location was a perfect place to operate a non-motorized watersport activity.
“It is nice shallow and calm water, and it is a quiet sport so I don’t think any of the residents at Sunset Island complaining of noise carrying over,” he said.
Tinus added, if anything, he felt Sunset Island residents will embrace Hang-Loose Paddlesports.
“I like to see anything that is able to get our tourists out on the water. I think it is wonderful,” Commission Chair Pam Buckley said.
Commission member Lauren Taylor made a motion to approve the site plan with the stipulations the toilet facilities be provided by Miller at the Mid-Town Center, the future signage to be approved by Smith, the building is built in conformance with the surrounding architecture and if operations go past 8 p.m. lighting be in conformance with Ocean City’s lighting ordinance. The commission voted 5-0 to approve with Miller abstaining.