OCEAN CITY – Northern Ocean City will gain the addition of an indoor golf course, the second in the resort, after the City Council unanimously approved the conditional use this week.
Currently, 146th Street houses an outdoor miniature golf course and arcade. The approval of the conditional use of the site will allow for the development of an indoor 18-hole miniature golf course on the neighboring lot.
The applicant, Nolen Graves of Golf Ventures, Inc., originally submitted plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission calling for the addition of an outdoor, 18-hole course to the current course. A public hearing was held, which yielded no opposition or complaints from the neighborhood. As a result, a favorable recommendation was received from the Planning Commission.
Graves appeared before the Planning Commission once again this spring, after he decided to revise the plans and include an indoor golf course, rather than build another outdoor course. The indoor addition would also include an expanded arcade.
The project, though favored in concept by the Planning Commission, hit a roadblock when issues over parking arose. The plan would have left the project 15 spaces short of the required parking. An appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for a 15-space parking waiver was denied, after the BZA voiced concerns about the potential for parking deficiencies in the area.
Graves decided to take a new approach, eliminating the arcade expansion and therefore limiting the square footage of the property so that parking requirements could be met. After reviewing the changes, the Planning Commission once again voted for a favorable recommendation of the project.
While the arcade expansion was lost in the development of the new plan, the project will have three extra-parking spaces, rather than a 15-space deficit.
“It’s had great support of the neighborhood,” said Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith this week to the Mayor and Council, noting that the neighborhood has had no objections to the expansion so far.
“If we can just make it look welcoming to Ocean City,” said Council member Nancy Howard of the proposed building, pointing out the number of cars that would inevitably pass the location as they enter the north end of town.
The council voted unanimously to approve the conditional use for the indoor golf course.