(Feb. 8, 2019) Ocean City will expand mid-town link locations this summer, following the City Council’s approval of development plans for “Tap It In,” an 18-hole beach-themed miniature golf course accompanying the Aloft Hotel construction project at 45th Street bayside.
Planning and Community Development Director Bill Neville told the council Monday that the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit following a public hearing on Jan. 8
“This use will revise an approved site plan from October 2016. [for] the construction of the new five-story, 120-room Aloft Hotel and a free standing 16,000-square-foot retail store,” he said.
Neville said the new proposal would encompass roughly 15,000 square feet at the southeast corner of the 45th Street Village property.
“This would replace the retail store ... with an amusement use at a good time when Ocean City has lost one of its 12 mini golf courses,” he said.
In light of the recent demolition of Lost Galaxy Golf on 33rd Street, the proposed usage would provide an important mid-town amenity, Neville said.
“By unofficial count we would still have 288 holes of miniature golf available in Ocean City if this … is approved,” he said.
In November 2016, the 45th Street Village became a joint venture after its previous sole owners, the Sibony family, who operate the Sunsations beach store chain, and the Burbage family, founders of Blue Water Development Corporation, joined forces.
The families are working on redeveloping the former Assawoman Brewery parcel into Aloft Ocean City, which broke ground last March, with the 45th Street Taphouse and Ocean City Barbeque remaining in operation.
Councilman Mark Paddack applauded the redevelopment while inquiring about off-hour security considerations in light of large volumes of pedestrians in the vicinity during summer.
“Is there sufficient and adequate lighting to illuminate this miniature golf course?” he asked. “It’s so close to the highway and with the volume of foot traffic I’m concerned about yahoos trying to jump in and out of it.”
Neville confirmed security considerations will be examined in further detail following approval of the conditional use permit.
“That’s something we track at the site plan approval,” he said. “It’s a busy area at nighttime.”
The council voted 5-0, with Councilman Tony DeLuca and Council President Lloyd Martin absent, to approve the request, with Planning and Zoning subsequently scheduling the site plan approval for its meeting on Tuesday.