OCEAN CITY – A public hearing was held this week regarding the expansion of an uptown arcade and mini-golf course. Although objections were heard at past public hearings on plans for the property, no objections were heard at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Property owner Nolen Graves of Golf Ventures, LLC made his presentation to the Planning and Zoning Commission during Tuesday night’s public hearing, requesting permission to expand his existing arcade and add another 18-hole mini-golf course.
The property, located between 145th and 146th streets along Coastal Highway, currently consists of an 18-hole mini-golf course, which was expanded two years ago, and an arcade, which was added last year. At public hearings for both improvements, Graves was met with objections from neighbors who were concerned about noise. The neighbors have reportedly since embraced the business and the proposed expansion met no objections at Tuesday’s public hearing.
“The neighborhood has accepted it well,” said Graves’s attorney Brian Shockley.
Ocean City Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith agreed, saying, “He’s upgraded it and really done a nice job for the arcade and for the neighborhood.”
The arcade expansion will include room for more games, the addition of a “party room” for children’s birthday parties and the continuation of the current aesthetics on the exterior of the arcade. The mini-golf course expansion will call for a second 18-hole course.
Smith reported that the business has proved to be compatible with the neighborhood, providing family and children-oriented activities for the uptown area. Smith noted that the property had at one time been considered for condos.
“The reason for the expansion is just demand,” Graves said, noting that the arcade had become a popular spot for uptown residents and visitors. “I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think it would work. I think that the whole area is growing, it’s a busy little corner and a lot of it is foot traffic.”
The planning commission agreed that there were concerns when the arcade and golf course were initially expanded, but that the project had turned out well.
The commission voted unanimously to send a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and City Council.