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CRISFIELD — The proposed transformation of the former Ice Cream Gallery into a private nonprofit known as The High Tide Club moved another step forward as the City Council unanimously waived …
CRISFIELD — The proposed transformation of the former Ice Cream Gallery into a private nonprofit known as The High Tide Club moved another step forward as the City Council unanimously waived parking requirements.
Located at 5 Goodsell Alley and occupying the entire footprint of the property, it had previously received planning commission approval by a vote of 4-2 for the use of the first floor as a club which is allowed in Tourist-Maritime zones.
The second floor, which will continue to remain separate, is a nonconforming apartment which would be renovated.
The ice cream shop closed at the end of the 2018 tourist season and developer Steve Raab has a contract to buy the building from owner Eileen McCall. He said there is “no way to add parking” and had the council not approved a waiver the request would return to the planning commission for a parking plan.
From Ninth Street and along Broad Street including the municipal parking lot parking varies from 2 hours to all day. With the club open seven days from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. overnight parking would not be an issue, said code enforcer, Dean Bozman.
“I don’t see anything interfering with any parking, there will be plenty of parking available,” he said.
Reading the information presented to the city by the developer, Mayor Darlene Taylor said it will be a place for family and friends to hold functions.
It will also have events open to non-members and the public.
Basic appliances and counterspace for food preparation will be available, but it will not offer food and/or alcohol for sale.
There will be an online application with membership limited to adults 21 and older. Dues will pay for upkeep, with residual funds or any fundraising donated to other activities in the community.
Mr. Raab said the reason to gain nonprofit tax status will be on the basis that this a charitable organization. He also said per code, the space cannot be rented to non-members.
Councilman Eric Banks said constituents asked him about it being a private club, so it was good to see it was going to be a nonprofit. He also appreciated that the building will be renovated.
“There’s not a lot you can do in that building, it’s not a great big space,” Mr. Banks said, adding, “but I got a lot of ice cream out of there.”
The council vote at the December meeting was supported by the mayor, who said the additional information was helpful as “We want to get to ‘Yes’” on the parking waiver.
According to real estate agent Shelby Gillis the contract for purchase expires at the end of January. The asking price was $270,000. Mr. Raab showed the planning commission a Navy Blue paint scheme to refresh the alley side of the building, and he wants to maintain access to the City Dock from the lower deck.
The upper deck is not accessible except through the apartment. The club would have no overnight accommodations.