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Thompson optimistic about Yacht Club parking

NANCY POWELL ¦ Staff Writer

(Oct. 12, 2012) Ocean Pines General Manager Bob Thompson is hopeful that the county will approve a revised parking plan for the proposed Yacht Club.

“It was a favorable experience,” Thompson said Tuesday afternoon after an administrative hearing with Ed Tudor, director of the county’s Department of Development Review and Permitting. “I’m confident they’ll look favorably upon our request, given the guidance they shared with us today.”

Thompson did not get the approval for the proposed Yacht Club that he sought last Thursday from the Worcester County Planning Commission. He and representatives of AWB Engineers sought site plan approval for the proposed 20,303-squarefoot building that would replace the existing Yacht Club.

Only two of the Planning Commission members, Wayne Hartman and Rick Wells, voted in favor of approving the site plan. The other five opposed it because of a parking issue.

The site plan as presented Oct. 4 had 62 too few parking spaces even though Yacht Club customers also would use parking spaces at the Mumford’s Landing pool. It would be a shared arrangement whereby Ocean Pines would be sharing its parking spaces at one facility with another of its facilities.

“It’s no longer a pool parking lot and a Yacht Club parking lot,” Hartman said.

At the beginning of the site plan review, the AWB engineer said the Mumford’s Landing pool would be closed if a big event such as a wedding were taking place at the Yacht Club. Thompson corrected him, however, and said that would not be the case. The pool would remain open.

Thompson did not see sharing parking spaces as a problem because, he said, the peak hours of business at the Yacht Club would be in the early evening and the peak hours at the pool would be during the day.

“We thought joint usage [of the parking spaces] made the most sense,” Thompson said.

On Tuesday, Thompson, OPA legal counsel Joe Moore and AWB representatives met with Tudor and Jennifer Grasso, the county’s zoning administrator, to discuss the parking issue.

“Ed Tudor gave us guidance to look at, such as reconfiguring the parking spaces,” Thompson said.

The existing parking spaces are 10 feet wide and Tudor said they could be resized to be 9.6 feet wide to gain additional parking.

“Sure,” Thompson said, when asked if he would be agreeable to change the size of the parking spaces and to reconfigure the parking lot. “It’s a fair, possible solution and we look forward to working with the county.”

Plans call for the existing Yacht Club to remain open for business while the new Yacht Club is under construction.

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