Council Approves Conditional Use For 18-Hole Miniature Golf Course

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week voted in favor of a conditional use application that will allow an 18-hole miniature golf course to proceed.

On Tuesday, the Mayor and Council had before them a conditional use application for an 18-hole miniature golf course to be located in front of the Montego Bay Shopping Center. Planning and Community Development Director said the application was supported by the Ocean City Planning Commissions with three conditions.

“The planning commission held a public hearing regarding this request on November 21 and is forwarding a favorable recommendation with findings of fact and three conditions to the Mayor and City Council,” he said. “The planning commission found this to be a favorable application, meeting the standards for conditional use.”

In November, the planning commission held a public hearing for a conditional use application submitted by Jay Taustin of Taustin Group. The applicant’s attorney, Joe Moore, said the conditional use would allow his client to construct an 18-hole miniature golf course on a vacant piece of property in the SC-1 shopping center district.

“It is imaginative and quite attractive,” he said at the time.

Planning and zoning staff told the commission last month that the miniature golf course would be placed between Ocean City Fire Department Station Four and the Farmers Bank of Willards, on the west side of Coastal Highway. They noted the site was the home of a former gas station, which had been demolished in 2020.

“It’s currently a vacant parcel.” Neville told the council Tuesday. “It was formerly a Sunoco gas station, and it’s located just south of Fire Station Four.”

In November’s public hearing, Zoning Administrator Kay Gordy said the proposed project complemented the town’s comprehensive plan and provided another entertainment venue for residents and visitors. She also noted the shopping center had 124 surplus parking spaces to accommodate the proposed golf course, as well as a bus stop.

“It should be a nice addition to the neighborhood without any issues with parking,” she said.

Gordy said Taustin is no stranger to golf course developments. She noted the applicant was also granted a conditional use permit in 2001 to construct a 36-hole miniature golf course in conjunction with The Embers Restaurant.

Gordy said staff recommended the commission approve the conditional use request with conditions that address lighting, noise and site plan review.

“Mr. Taustin and his representatives come forward asking for you to send a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and City Council for this 18-hole miniature golf course,” she said.

After further discussion, the commission in November voted to forward the conditional use application to the Mayor and Council with a favorable recommendation and the conditions outlined by planning and zoning staff.

On the agenda for Tuesday’s work session, Councilman Tony DeLuca made a motion to approve the conditional use application by adopting the findings of fact and the three conditions placed on the project.

The motion passed 6-0, with Councilman Peter Buas absent at the time of the vote.

With a conditional use now approved, the project will go back to the planning commission for site plan review.

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.