New mini-golf business requests variance

Construction is expected to begin in November on Shipwrecked Mini Golf & Ice Cream, with plans for the mini-golf course to open in the spring of 2020. First, though, a variance has to be approved by the Ocean View Board of Adjustment. The matter is on the agenda for the board’s Sept. 19 meeting.

“Because of the irregular shape of the property, it makes it a little different, so we have to request the variance,” explained Becky Adams, who, with her husband Patrick, owns the property at 3 Atlantic Avenue and is planning the course.

The 18-hole course, with a 19th hole that offers a chance for a free game, will have a nautical theme and waterfall, and be on the same property as Shipwrecked Ice Cream, which is there now.

“It will be very natural, with 70 percent of our plants being native species from the area. As far as landscaping, there will be all-natural rocks, with the exception of the putting greens. Everything will be nature and rock, vs. concrete. We will have a waterfall with a little stream,” Adams said.

In January, the Board of Adjustment approved a special-use exception to permit a miniature-golf course in the General Business 1 zone. At that meeting, attorney Jim Griffin, arguing in favor of the exception, said it was professionally designed, with attractive landscaping and natural features. Adam Swain of Fancy Cutz, hired to landscape the course, also spoke in favor, saying there will be more than 100 native grasses and trees, plus 40 shrubs.

Still, some objected, worrying about how a miniature-golf course would fit in a town with a high senior population that craves a quiet lifestyle. Others cautioned it would attract too much traffic, force guests to vie for parking spaces, and eclipse the neighboring Assawoman Canal Trail.

But Adams told Coastal Point this week that there will be about 30 parking spots, with a row of spaces from the ice cream shop to the sign, and more behind the building, plus overflow room at the cabinet business next door. The owners of that business told her the shop closes at 5 p.m., so evening miniature-golf players are welcome to use that lot for parking.

“The warehouse here will come down, so miniature golf will go from where the parking is in front. Some parking will go away, and the miniature golf course will start and wrap around the ice cream shop, like a backward C, and be beside the walking trail,” Adams explained.

Guests positioned to putt won’t necessarily make busy Route 26 busier, she said, because they’ll already be in town.

“This is just giving them something to do in Ocean View vs. traveling up and down the road and going somewhere else. It’s better for the town in that respect. What we’re going to put there fits in with the natural environment, vs. something that is not a bar or restaurant. It’s going be family-oriented and an outdoor activity.

“It kind of goes with the theme of the walking trail beside our ice cream shop,” she said.

The Adamses chose the name Shipwrecked because of their interest in the history of shipwrecks off the Atlantic Coast, including the Faithful Steward, a vessel that sailed from Ireland to Philadelphia in 1785 and ran aground near the Indian River Inlet. Hundreds of barrels of British pennies and halfpennies were aboard, thought to be the coins beachcombers have since found near Delaware Seashore State Park.

“There’s a beach there called Coin Beach. After a storm, people go out there with metal detectors and look for coins,” Adams said.

“We enjoy that kind of history, so that’s where we came up with the name. The miniature-golf course will be along those lines.

“There will be anchors, plants, natural rocks. It will all tie in. One hole will have a small boat on it, but not a big boat. Players will be able to hit the ball through the boat to get to the hole, or they can hit the ball around the boat. There will be a nautical theme, but not a pirate theme,” she said.

Admission cost and hours aren’t yet firm, but Adams said the course will be required to close by 11 p.m., in keeping with the Town ordinance.


By Susan Canfora

Point Reporter