OCEAN CITY — A revised site plan for a proposed 78 unit Holiday Inn Express in west Ocean City breezed through the Worcester County Planning Commission last week.
The commission has seen previous versions of the site plan and expressed some reservations about the layout of the facility. Land planner Bob Hand told the commission that the proposal is “continuing to evolve.”
“The floor plan is being modified. The biggest modification I saw was taking the pool from the northeast corner down to the southwest corner,” said Hand. “That will integrate it into the building instead of letting it wrap around.”
The pool was a major factor in earlier plans, noted attorney Hugh Cropper, who represented the property owner, West Ocean City Investments, in front of the commission.
“The pool was actually a big concern, how we would control access from people getting through the motel,” he said.
With the new placement, however, Cropper said that the site plan is streamlined and the commissioners’ early concerns over access should be addressed. Land Planner Robert Heron agreed and explained that plans have been significantly revised since last month.
“Since then, over the last two weeks, things have been refined more, tightened up,” he said.
Because Holiday Inns are a franchise commodity, Heron said that designers are a bit cuffed in the way they can lay out the hotel. However, there is some flexibility in the defaults, including extra rooms factored in with the expectation that the design will change. Even with the pool being integrated into the southwest corner of the facility, none of the 78 planned rooms had to be cut.
The site’s footprint was also reduced significantly without any loss of units. Originally, the area was expected to come in at about 48,000 square feet while the revised plan clocks in just under 42,000 square feet.
Besides a few detail issues with transparency and color schemes, which were waived or fixed, the commission was quick to approve the revised site plan.
The building will feature 78 rooms spread out between four levels, as well as an internal pool. The building site will be located on the south side of Route 50 east of Keyser Point Road. A construction timeline is not yet known though ground could be broken as early as this spring.