Starboard Claw representatives have withdrawn a request to the Dewey Beach Board of Adjustment for an exemption from off-street parking requirements pending a possible town council vote Jan. 21.
Under current code, Starboard Claw would need to provide 19 off-street parking spaces based on its patron space of just under 3,700 square feet.
The planning and zoning commission voted unanimously Dec. 18 to recommend town council amend code to eliminate off-street parking requirements for restaurants in the RB-2 district with less than 4,000 square feet of patron space. If commissioners approve the proposed ordinance, Starboard Claw would not need to provide off-street parking spaces.
Starboard Claw representatives then asked to delay board action until the outcome of the Jan. 21 town commissioners meeting, Town Counsel Fred Townsend said.
“If adopted, then the variance is no longer needed,” Townsend said by email Jan. 5.
Starboard Claw attorney Glenn Mandalas said he and his clients always felt that relaxing off-street parking requirements for the entire RB-2 corridor is a better option than obtaining a variance for Starboard Claw.
“The code amendment would more closely align Dewey Beach’s off-street parking requirements with neighboring coastal towns, would promote a safer experience through the town on Coastal Highway, and would better reflect the walkable nature of the town,” Mandalas said by email Jan. 5.
Given the planning commission’s positive review of the proposed code amendment, Mandalas said, he asked the board to defer Starboard Claw’s application while town commissioners consider the code amendment.
“We are hopeful the town commissioners will follow the recommendation of the planning commission and adopt the code amendment, making the board of adjustment proceeding unnecessary,” Mandalas said.
Restaurateur Steve “Monty” Montgomery first introduced plans for Starboard Claw at the July 9 town commissioners meeting. The restaurant will be located at the site of the former Hammerhead’s restaurant on Coastal Highway and will feature hard-shell crabs and Ed’s famous grilled chicken, a Dewey delicacy, on the menu.
To expand the restaurant’s kitchen, Montgomery and co-owners also purchased an adjacent property at 26 Bellevue St. and had to go through the rezoning process to change the property from residential to business. The two properties were subsequently consolidated.
In November, the planning and zoning commission approved sending a set of recommended conditions for the new restaurant to town council, and in December, planners sent commissioners their recommendation to eliminate off-street parking requirements for Starboard Claw.
A full agenda for the Jan. 21 commissioners meeting has not yet been posted; however, the public hearing notice is available at townofdeweybeach.com.