Ocean City Today

Embers will shave inches to create more parking spaces

By Greg Ellison | May 17, 2018
Photo by: Greg Ellison The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a special parking exception for the Embers Restaurant at 2305 Philadelphia Avenue to slightly reduce the width of more than 200 spaces to create more parking.

(May 18, 2018) In hopes of improving accommodations, the Embers Restaurant at 2305 Philadelphia Avenue was granted a special parking exception by the Board of Zoning Appeals last Thursday so it can reconfigure its lot to gain about half a dozen spots.

Zoning Administrator Frank Hall said the request would reduce 217 parking spaces from nine to 8.7 feet.

“It’s less than the width of a tire,” he said. “We have more narrow spaces at City Hall.”

The plan also calls for reducing two parking lot aisles from 23 to 20 feet, Hall said.

Hall also said the applicant paid for a parking lot design plan with no net loss to redistributed landscaping.

Jay Taustin, Embers CEO, said the restaurant, which his family has operated since the 1950s, fills its lot on bayside too quickly in peak season.

“People keep circling the parking lot,” he said. “We want to help customers avoid crossing Coastal Highway.”

Representing the applicant was attorney Joseph Moore, who noted the reduced space size is permitted by city code.

“In the lower downtown area, under code there can be as many as 20 percent of parking spaces that are 8 feet wide by 18 feet long,” he said.

Because of the minimal space revision sought, Moore cited the de minimis doctrine that the law does not concern itself with trifles.

The board voted 3-0 to approve the request with members Alfred Harrison and Danelle Amos absent.

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