The quarter of an acre area next to Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City received a favorable recommendation to rezone to commercial. Stockyard Inc. also received additional EDUs for the same area for a butcher shop and takeout restaurant.

(Dec. 13, 2019) Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City will see a few changes with additional sewer and water allotments (EDUs or equivalent dwelling units) and most likely a new zoning designation for the small slice of property next door.

The Worcester County Commissioners reviewed a request from Stockyard Inc. for seven additional EDUs during their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3. 

The EDUs would serve a revised use in the proposed Hooper’s Shopping Plaza for a butcher shop and carry-out restaurant. Stockyard Inc. received an initial allocation of nine EDUs for the shopping center and an additional seven for the restaurant from the Mystic Harbour Sanitary Service Area in June 2018. 

The proposed 1,409-square-foot and 1,496-square-foot butcher shop and carry-out restaurant will generate an estimated flow of 705 and 748 gallons per day for a combined total of 1,453 gallons per day. At the rate of 300 gallons per day per EDU, an allocation of an additional five EDUs was recommended by the county’s Environmental Programs department. 

The commissioners granted five EDUs from the commercial category, with Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic opposing the motion. 

Attorney Hugh Cropper represented the owners of Stockyard Inc. Properties and presented their rezoning request during the Worcester County Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Stockyard Inc. believed the quarter-of-an-acre property next to Hooper’s Crab House should be revised from a residential zoning to commercial. According to Cropper, Hooper’s Crab House has used the property as an accessory area for years and therefore the rezoning is based on a mistake in zoning (under Maryland law, a rezoning may occur when there is a mistake in zoning or there is a change in the character of the neighborhood).

 “As needed, they’ve had tents there over the years,” Cropper said to the planning commission. “They’ve had trailers — they’ve had a little bit of everything. As you can see, it appears to be overflow.” 

He confirmed with surveyor Frank Lynch that the rezoning would bring the area into compliance and is compatible with the county’s comprehensive plan. Planning Commissioners Gerard Barbieri and Richard Wells said they had always thought the property was a part of Hooper’s Crab House. 

The planning commission agreed to forward to the county commissioners its recommendation for the rezoning from residential to commercial.

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