The Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission officially approved a site plan on Tuesday from Seacrets bar, restaurant and night club on 49th Street to add a special events and wedding venue at their meeting Tuesday evening.
Zoning Administrator Karen Gordy presented Seacrets Owner Leighton Moore’s requests for the new complex to commission members.
It will include the Your Beach Bayfront Venue, a 1,106 square-foot open building with restrooms and kitchens fit to serve around 200 people.
“This is to be primarily for weddings, special events, and you can have your party there, get married there on the beach, and you could also do it inside the building, but then you could have a small party,” Moore told the commission.
The venue will be located on the water by the bay in the south corner of the parking lot behind ABC Liquors.
“We took out a lot. We’ve reconfigured it a little bit to make it more easily used and to have the walkway so the bride can follow the yellow-brick road and go all the way to get married on the bay,” Moore said.
The request also asked to repurpose the second and third stories of ABC Liquors from storage space to a banquet area for the bayfront venue.
The bayfront venue will fall into a special flood hazard zone that is subject to periodic flooding, so Seacrets’ plans have to meet certain elevation standards associated with the zone’s classification.
Moore noted that over the past few decades, runoff from Coastal Highway has accelerated erosion on Seacrets’ property. Moore previously had to fix the parking lot and install a concrete swale that goes up to the beach in front of the proposed bayfront venue.
With construction, Moore has been asked to remove the concrete swale because it is unsightly, for which he had to consult with the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Moore has plans to install a catch basin in its place, and to run drainage pipes under the adjacent pier.
In order to mitigate the heavy runoff concentration and overflow into the parking lot behind ABC Liquors, Moore said construction will include raising certain sections of the lot by around 20 inches.
“A great deal of attention has been paid to the stormwater,” he said.
Given the site’s proximity to marshes, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Army Corps of Engineers will have to survey the wetland boundary lines before Seacrets can receive a building permit.
Seacrets is the third biggest employer in Ocean City’s tourism and property management/development industries, according to Maryland DLLR Career and Workforce information from 2016.
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