West Ocean City Commercial Project Moves Ahead

SNOW HILL – Plans for the development of Sea Oaks Village moved forward last week with site plan approval for the commercial portion of the project.

Last Thursday, the Worcester County Planning Commission voted 6-0 to approve a site plan for the commercial portion of the Route 611 project.

“I think it’s a great looking project,” attorney Hugh Cropper told the commission. “It’ll be an asset to the area.”

Cropper and Bob Hand, the project’s designer, outlined plans for the buildings—a 12,000 square foot structure for contractor shops and a 12,570 square foot structure for office and retail space—to the commission last week. The overall project, which will be located on the west side of Route 611 and north of Sinepuxent Road, is set to include the commercial space as well as 59 townhomes.

Though county staff pointed out that the proposed commercial buildings were lacking some of the landscaping mandated by code, Cropper said the developer was seeking a waiver to that requirement considering the attractiveness of the buildings.

“We want to buffer but we don’t want to screen the project from the view along Route 611 because it is a very pretty project,” Hand explained. “The architecture is outstanding and I think it’s an asset to the neighborhood.”

Cropper said he was also asking for a waiver to the requirements for building projections and recesses cited by county staff.

“I think if we add more details it’ll get a little too busy…,” Cropper said. “We have significant architectural design, it’s just not projections and recesses that exactly comply with the design guidelines.”

The commission voted 6-0 to approve the site plan as presented by Cropper.

Following that vote, they considered a rezoning request regarding a small portion of the Hooper’s Crab House property. Cropper, representing the property owners, said that while most of the property is zoned commercial, a quarter of an acre is zoned R-3 residential. Cropper said he considered the zoning a mistake, since that portion of the site had been in use by Hooper’s for close to 30 years, sometimes as parking area and sometimes for special events.

“It’s really a very small piece of property but it’s important to Hooper’s because it’s part of their use and they need it,” Cropper said.

The commission voted 6-0 to forward the rezoning request to the Worcester County Commissioners with a favorable recommendation.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.