Mini Golf Relocation Approved

OCEAN CITY— Resort officials last week approved a conditional use allowing for the relocation of a downtown miniature golf course one block to the north.

The Mayor and Council had before them last Tuesday a request for a conditional use that will allow Nick’s Golf mini-golf course at 18th Street to move one block north after the facility is getting displaced by the development of an office complex on its original site. The Harrison Group, which owns the property on which Nick’s Jurassic Golf has existed for eight years, is redeveloping the property with a phased office complex, necessitating the move for the mini-golf course.

Golf course owner Nick Geracimos has since purchased a property on the west side of Philadelphia Avenue at 19th Street owned for years by the Phillips family and has plans to move the existing golf course in a new and improved fashion to the block just to the north. However, before the move could go forward, it needed approval for a conditional use request.

Last month, the Planning Commission held the requisite public hearing on the conditional use, and after vetting the application voted to forward a favorable recommendation to the full Mayor and Council. The conditional use request for the mini-golf relocation appeared on the council’s agenda last Tuesday and was passed with little discussion.

At the planning commission level, it was determined the new location offered more in terms of setbacks, buffers from the neighboring residential areas and pedestrian safety. There is an existing crosswalk and traffic signal at 19th Street. There was one question on Tuesday about the proposed location of the golf course’s office, check-in and concession facility, which is on the opposite side of the course’s designated parking area. However, it was explained it was aligned that way to take advantage of the existing traffic signal and crosswalk as much of Nick’s Golf business is walk-up clientele from neighboring hotels and motels.

Parking is always a central concern with any new proposed development project. The town’s code for mini-golf course parking requires one space for each of the 18 holes. However, it was determined the proposed relocation of the golf course afforded the developer 23 parking spaces on site, or a surplus of five, so parking was not an issue for the project.

During the commission’s public hearing there were some concerns raised about the impact on the residential areas in the area, but the developer presented a detailed plan to contain the lighting and the noise from background music on the course itself with no anticipated impact on the residential neighborhoods.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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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.