(Sept. 11, 2020) About two acres of land associated with Antique Woodwork and Francis Scott Key Motel cottages in West Ocean City were rezoned from R-3 Multi-Family Residential to C-2 General Commercial at the Worcester County Commissioner’s meeting last Tuesday.
The county planning commission gave the rezoning a favorable recommendation on Jan. 2.
The properties to the north and east are zoned C-2 and properties to the south and west are zoned R-3.
Attorney Hugh Cropper contended that the zoning was a good faith mistake and that there has been a change in the neighborhood. He noted that there is a seamless transition between the motel and the cottages, which are zoned commercial and residential, respectively.
“They’re a part of that commercial operation,” Cropper said. “They’re indiscernible from the motel.”
Heather Brunning, manager of the motel, said that the vacation homes are a part of the motel property, which is zoned commercial.
“They [renters] are registered guests,” Brunning said. “We issue them wristbands on arrival so everybody has use of the facilities.”
She also agreed with Cropper that there is no discernable difference when the property goes from commercial to residential.
Cropper confirmed with land planner Bob Hand that there have been changes in the character of the neighborhood, specifically the intensification of commercial property along Route 50.
“We’ve seen the construction of several hotels, the Park Place Plaza, the Starbucks . . .west of Hooper’s, all of which are changes to the neighborhood,” Cropper said.
The commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning.