(Jan. 8, 2021) The Ocean City Planning Commission approved a site plan for a residential annex of several lots in the 900 block of Baltimore Avenue to add hotel rooms and employee housing for the Paradise Plaza Inn.
Avi Sibony, principal for Ninth Street LLC, proposed the redevelopment of four parcels located at 903-909 Baltimore Ave to become the Paradise Plaza West.
Planning and Zoning Director Bill Neville said two of the Baltimore Avenue lots are being used for overflow parking at the Paradise Plaza Inn on the Boardwalk, while the other two contain antiquated employee housing structures.
“The consolidation of those four lots has been proposed for the development of the 31-room hotel,” he said.
Site plans also include 13 employee-housing units, with the structure elevated and parking included underneath.
Neville said the site plan was submitted to the Ocean City Development Corporation for design review.
“The applicant made some minor changes to the design,” he said.
Neville said the previously approved site plan for the Paradise Plaza Inn on the Boardwalk from the late 1990s included spaces on the two open lots within required parking calculations.
“There’s a recorded easement that dedicates those for that use,” he said.
Neville said the proposed redevelopment would employ a 14-space parking non-conformity for the current residential structures to provide the mandated number of spots.
Neville also raised a concern about the new structure’s ground-level elevation and proximity to Baltimore Avenue.
“Our zoning requirements call for a 10-foot setback but allow for an open unenclosed deck to project six feet within that,” he said.
Neville also said the sidewalk on the west side of Baltimore would need to be expanded to meet the eight-foot requirement.
Final architecture would be presented with the building permit application, Neville said.
The proposed structure would be 35 feet tall, with three full floors of housing and a fourth smaller attic level with three residential units.
“We did look at the adjoining structures [and] the height is not out of place within the block,” Neville said. “The three employee housing units on the upper floors, essentially the fourth floor, need to be removed.”
Neville suggested retaining the top level for storage and potentially revisiting the design use in the future.