OCEAN PINES – Construction for the new Ocean Pines Yacht Club is expected to begin within the next two months, now that the Worcester County Planning Commission has approved the facility’s site plan.
"We were able to significantly decrease the adjustment they were seeking," county Planning Director Ed Tudor said of the commission’s Nov. 1 approval.
In early October, the original site plan for the new Ocean Pines Yacht Club was rejected by the commission because it failed to provide the required number of parking spaces. A few days after that meeting, Ocean Pines Association representatives met with Tudor to request an adjustment that would allow them to provide fewer spaces than what the zoning code requires.
Although county code says there must be one parking space for every 125 square feet of surface in a commercial lot, part of that code allows Tudor to make significant changes to its regulations.
Depending on the scenario, the county can reduce by 20 percent the general requirement of one parking space for every 125 square feet of the lot.
Through meetings between Tudor and OPA representatives, the number of required spaces was shrunk by exactly 10.9 percent. This was after the OPA requested a reduction of more than 20 percent, according to Tudor.
Parking spaces in the county are typically 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, but by reducing the width of several parking spaces, some by an extremely small amount, they were able to add many more spaces than what was initially incorporated in the original site plan.
"We are excited about the progress we have made and are looking forward to the construction phase of the project to begin," OPA General Manager Bob Thompson said in a press release sent Friday, the day after the site plan was approved.
Up next for the OPA in its effort to build a new Yacht Club is obtaining a building permit. While no exact timeline could be given, Thompson said the earliest the OPA would be awarded the permit is within four to six weeks.
Assuming no major delays, construction could begin within the next two months.
Harkins Builders will build the new facility, which will cost $4.3 million.