Seacrets Event Venue Plan Approved

Seacrets Event Venue Plan Approved
Sketches of the proposed bayfront beach venue at Seacrets are pictured. Submitted Image

OCEAN CITY – Members of a resort commission this week approved a site plan for a new bayfront event venue at Seacrets.

On Tuesday, the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission voted to approve a site plan for Your Beach Bayfront Event Venue and to change the use of the second and third floors of the ABC Liquor retail store from storage to restaurant use with limited storage. Applicant Leighton Moore said the approvals will allow for the creation of a wedding and events venue, which would utilize the existing beachfront and retail store for parties and celebrations on the Seacrets property.

“This is primarily to be used for weddings and special events,” he told the commission. “You can have your party there and get married there on the beach. You can also do it inside the building.”

Last month, Seacrets representatives came before the commission seeking approval for utility and landscaping work for what will eventually be a private events venue along the bayfront.

Back on the agenda Tuesday for site plan approval, Zoning Administrator Kay Gordy said plans include an open, bayfront venue with associated restrooms and food prep areas, as well as a change of use for the second and third floors of the ABC Liquor retail store from previously approved storage space to banquet and restaurant use associated with the Your Beach site. She noted a walkway running through the parking lot will connect the two areas.

“Of course this is site plan review,” she said. “Once this is passed – should you pass it – they have to go through building permit, and there are going to be issues down there on that bayfront venue for MDE to deal with, tidal and nontidal wetlands departments to deal with, and those things will be handled at the building permit stage itself. So just understand that all of our site plans are subject to all other governmental regulations that have to be followed.”

Moore told the commission this week he was working with the Maryland Department of the Environment to address stormwater issues on the site. He said there were also plans to elevate an area of the parking lot.

“The middle third of the site is coming up …,” architect Keith Iott explained. “It’s a significant amount of runoff coming through there.”

Simply put, Moore said patrons can use the beachfront event venue for weddings and celebrations and the top floors of the retail store for banquets. He noted guests can even end their night at the Seacrets nightclub.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship of all the different enterprises there,” he said.

Moore also pointed out the beachfront venue was limited to a three-piece band, with no DJs.

“So the neighbors won’t be impacted,” he said.

Gordy noted that the proposed changes would impact parking, but that the Seacrets property had excess parking of 64 spaces.

“So the change of use is really not going to be any problem when it comes to being able to provide for more people to come …,” she said. “That’s not going to be an issue.”

Gordy also noted that the town’s comprehensive plan supported the proposed uses.

“They have a dynamic, changing site there, and all of the land use and community character talks about that being very important to Ocean City, to the elected officials and also the citizens here,” she said.

After further discussion, the commission voted 5-0 to approve the site plan application with staff recommendations.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.