Latest Brewery Changes Approved

OCEAN CITY — A grain silo and other improvements at a midtown brewery came closer to fruition this week after resort planners endorsed a site plan approval for the project.

The resort’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday reviewed two-pronged improvements for the Ocean City Brewing Company on 56th Street, which would allow the company to expand an existing front deck to allow for a greater outdoor dining and play area and, perhaps more importantly, install an indoor grain silo that would stand 34 feet tall with up to 16 feet protruding from the existing roof line. The silo has been a point of contention in recent weeks, first at the planning commission level and later by the City Council. Both bodies ultimately approved the installation of the silo although somewhat reluctantly and what the planning commission had before them on Tuesday was the site plan, or what the expanded deck and play area and the silo would ultimately look like.

When it came to approving the site plan on Tuesday, Planning Commissioner Lauren Taylor, who voted against the silo earlier, asked if the two issues could be handled separately.

“Can there by two separate motions?” she said. “I still think the silo is not a good addition to the area and I can’t support it. I don’t have any problem with the deck and playground part.”

Zoning Administrator Frank Hall said the planning commission had already forwarded a favorable recommendation on the silo to the Mayor and Council, which ultimately approved despite some concerns. Hall said the planning commission only had before them the site plan review, which dealt with the aesthetics and other issues. Nonetheless, Taylor voiced her displeasure with the alternating blue and white striped design on the portion of the silo that protrudes for the brewery’s roof.

“Right now, it looks like a rocket that’s ready to take off,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s aesthetically appealing. It doesn’t go with the area.”

However, Taylor was alone in her opposition to the design of the grain silo.

“I like it,” said Planning Commission Chris Shanahan. “I think the color scheme matches the building and the signage.”

Planning Commission Chair Pam Buckley agreed, saying, “I like the stripes. I think it makes the silo look a little squattier.”

The commission voted 4-1 with Taylor opposed to approve the site plan for the deck and play area expansion and the silo design.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

Alternative Text

Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.