Tow Lot

Elias Zacharopoulos, the owner of a towing business and Cycle City on Coastal Highway near 31st Street, was granted permission to operate a 15-car impound lot.

(April 9, 2021) Nearly a month after gaining approval from the city Planning and Zoning Commission to operate a 15-vehicle storage lot next to Jolly Roger Amusement Park, a tow truck operator got the green light from City Council members on Monday.

Elias Zacharopoulos, the owner of the scooter rental and repair business named Cycle City on Coastal Highway near 31st Street, asked the council for a conditional use permit that would allow him to run a 15-vehicle storage lot on the premises of his current business.

Along with Cycle City, Zacharopoulos is a licensed tow truck driver, who had been storing the vehicles he towed in West Ocean City.

As the owner of the Ocean City location, Zacharopoulos filed an application with the city to be able to store the vehicles on the parcel, which is zoned local commercial and bayside mixed use.

Under zoning code, Zacharopoulos is required to have nine parking spaces on site – four for the employee housing he provides and five for the retail business he operates.

Along with conforming to code, he also received approval from the Ocean City Police Department to store vehicles at his property temporarily.

Although the city operates its own impound lot at 65th Street, vehicles involved in accidents are not stored there. Instead, OCPD calls a tow company like the one Zacharopoulos operates to pick up the vehicles and store them.

He has the ability to store up to eight vehicles in a pole building on the property, although that number can fluctuate depending on whether he is storing scooters and motorcycles in there.

When the matter was before the planning and zoning commission, questions were raised regarding beeping noises from the tow truck as it reverses, and Zacharopoulos said his truck did not do that. There were also concerns that the lot would wind up looking like a junk yard, though the owner assured the commission it would not.

After reviewing a transcript from the planning and zoning commission meeting that took place previously, Councilman Mark Paddack asked whether the lot would be fenced in and was assured it was.

Other than Paddack’s question, council members did not say much on the matter and unanimously approved Zacharopoulos’s request.

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