Dhimas Bayside Suites rendering

Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan for the 10-unit Dhimas Bayside Suites at 8. St. Louis Ave. on Tuesday.

OC Planning and Zoning signs off on 10-unit hotel located at 8 St. Louis Ave.

(Feb. 5, 2021) After meeting parking space requirements, a site plan for the Dhimas Bayside Suites, a 10-unit hotel located at 8 St. Louis Ave., was approved Tuesday by the Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission.

Zoning Administrator Kay Gordy said planning and zoning staff met with applicant Niko Dhimas to begin the development process in August.

“This has been in the works since last summer,” she told the commission.

In early December, the Board of Zoning Appeals issued a variance for required landscaping on the buildings south side.

Following this, Dhimas met with the Ocean City Development Corporation Design Committee on Dec. 18 to confirm that the proposed structure was in line with downtown overlay district requirements.

OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin subsequently issued a letter confirming all building materials and color schemes are in accord with downtown design standards.

The previous building was demolished on Jan. 5, with the Technical Review Committee reviewing site plans on Jan.  21.

The two-story Dhimas Bayside Suites will house five rooms under 500 square feet on each floor.

Gordy said the site previously had been granted an exception for nonconformity regarding six parking spaces, with the applicant hoping to retain one.

Attorney Joe Moore, representing Dhimas, argued the resort’s zoning code permits renovation or expansion using prior nonconformity if the project does not attempt to expand the earlier exceptions.

“It also permits a change of use for nonconformity,” he said. “As long as we don’t increase the degree of nonconformity.”

Moore said the site plan accounts for nine of the 10 required parking spaces, with one space nonconformity requested.

Commission Chair Pam Buckley said that was not an ideal suggestion.

“We would like to see the parking space requirement met,” she said.

Moore offered a contingency option.

“We could provide a toss-in spot offsite to hit the number,” he said.

Moore said Dhimas could dedicate one parking space at another property two blocks away.

After razing the previous structure, which was smaller and outdated, Moore noted the site would host a “small boutique” hotel.

“It’s really going to be an improvement,” he said.

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