OC Planning Comm. Looks Over Revised Projects

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission was presented with revised plans for the Seaside Escape Condominium and Clipper Hotel this week, as parking issues to both projects were addressed.

Seaside Escape Condominium, located on 79th Street and Coastal Highway, presented the Planning and Zoning Commission with revised plans this week, showing the revised location of the dumpster and recycling receptacles, a revised plan that did not meet the approval of Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith.

Smith explained that the project had gone before the Mayor and Council earlier this year in an effort to gain approval for raised walkways that would connect the two sections of the building. The council gave approval to the request, but in return, requested that the alleyway running between the buildings be expanded to 20-feet to allow for a complete public access alley, if desired, in the future. As a result, the Mayor and Council and Planning and Zoning Commission requested that the trashcans be placed in the alley. The aim was to keep the trashcans off the street and out of parking spots.

The revised plans presented this week showed the trash receptacles in a parking space with the recycling bins located on the street. The architect for the project explained that placing the trash bins in the alley would make it too difficult for solid waste trucks access.

“It sets the precedent to give parking spaces away when you don’t need to,” said Smith, who maintained that there are other options.

“It’s too much in a small area, we go through this constantly,” said Commission member Lauren Taylor.

Commission member Peck Miller suggested project officials go back to the drawing board and come back with other options that wouldn’t include receptacles along the street or reduction of parking. The plans will be re-presented to the commission at their next meeting.

Parking was also an issue in the revised plans of the Clipper Hotel. The seven-unit hotel, which includes one employee-housing unit on site, was approved with eight parking spaces and an alleyway entrance. No entrance from Baltimore Ave. was included in the original plans, but after reviewing the project, the project owners decided to add an entry off Baltimore Ave. The new entrance will provide vehicles a Baltimore Ave. access to the interior parking lot while maintaining all eight parking spaces.

“They feel it’s important to bring people onto their property and still maintain eight parking spaces,” Smith said.

The Baltimore Ave. entrance will be entry only. Cars will pull in, load or un-load and then exit through the alley. Smith explained that plenty of signage would be displayed, making it clear to drivers where the entrance and exit is. Smith added that no parking would be lost along Baltimore Ave. as a result of the change.

Planning and Zoning Commission approved the revised changes, under the condition that ample vegetation be provided along Baltimore Ave. as screening and that the area be clearly marked for vehicle travel.