NANCY POWELL ¦ Staff Writer
The existing Ocean Pines Yacht Club will remain open during construction of the new facility.(Nov. 9, 2012) A building permit is expected to be issued for the new Ocean Pines Yacht Club within the next 30 days and construction is expected to begin within the next two months.
The progress is being made because the Worcester County Planning Commission approved the site plan for the Yacht Club during its Nov. 1 meeting.
Removable potted plants helped persuade the Planning Commission to approve that site plan.
Such plants are preferable because the clay pots could be moved inside in case of an approaching storm, Ocean Pines General Manager Bob Thompson told the Planning Commission during its Nov. 1 meeting. If plants were in the ground, some of the dirt would be washed away. They will also be used to delineate the outside dining area.
“Plantings will make it a lot more attractive,” commission member Costen Gladding said.
Gladding suggested azalea bushes and said they would give “body. It needs some pizzazz and something. I’m not saying you have to dig a hole and plant.”
Having moveable potted plants suited Gladding just fine.
Representing Ocean Pines, attorney Joe Moore said whatever number of potted plants the commission considered to be reasonable would be placed outside the building.
The commission granted a waiver for planted vegetation, for a sidewalk and for lighting.
A sidewalk is not wanted because it would have a dead-end and because access is available by a dock. Lights along Mumford’s Landing Road are not wanted because there are no lit sidewalks in Ocean Pines. For the most part, Ocean Pines is wooded and dark.
Joint-use parking had been an issue during the Planning Commission’s Oct. 4 meeting when five of the commission’s members voted against the site plan as presented that day. That site plan had 62 too few parking spaces even though Yacht Club customers would be able to park at the Yacht Club or at Mumford’s Landing pool. Thompson sought a 20 percent reduction in the number of parking spaces.
During an Oct. 9 hearing, Ed Tudor, director of the Department of Development Review and Permitting, granted a reduction in the required number of parking spaces after several were made slightly narrower. Modifying the width of some spaces and the conversion of two trailer parking spaces to four parallel spaces resulted in a reduction of the special exception request form 20 percent to 10.9 percent, which Tudor granted.
Residents of Osprey Point condominiums do not object to the new 20,303- square-foot Yacht Club. Jean Ford, president of the Osprey Point Condominium Association, sent a letter to the Department of Development Review and Permitting that said the project had been discussed with Thompson.
“As a result, we are totally supportive of the proposed redevelopment and are satisfied that our primary issues have been addressed and will be resolved in a satisfactory manner,” Ford wrote.
Those issues were lighting, privacy, drainage and safety. Ford wrote that the proposed lighting, its type and direction, would not adversely affect residents and they believe the proposed fencing, plantings and a gate would clearly separate the two properties. The current drainage system is sufficient to manage runoff from additional asphalt in the extended parking area and residents’ safety is not compromised because of the relocation of the entrance to and exit from the new Yacht Club’s parking area, which will be enlarged.
Ford also wrote that the “cooperative spirit” between Osprey Point and the Ocean Pines Association will continue, as association members will remain in contact with the OPA through meetings, telephone conversations and correspondence.
“Therefore, we are assured that the redevelopment of the Yacht Club will be a positive event within our community,” she said.
The existing Yacht Club will remain in operation during construction of the new facility.