Planning Commission To Consider Request For Boardwalk Amusement Rides

Planning Commission To Consider  Request For Boardwalk Amusement Rides

Planning Commission To Consider Request For Boardwalk Amusement Rides Featured

By / Local News / Monday, 30 November 2020 03:31

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH  -   
Amusement rides may be returning to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk area in the near future pending approval by the Town of Carolina Beach.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request submitted last month to bring rides back to the Boardwalk area during their upcoming Thursday December 10th, meeting at Town Hall at 6:30pm. The Town's Technical Review Committee reviewed a request for permission to bring rides back to the Boardwalk area during their November 16th, meeting. The request from Carolina Beach Land Holdings, LLC, seeks to expand the area available for placement of rides and concession stands from 34,404 square feet to 58,259 sq. ft. (1.34 acres) combined across multiple properties.  
The Town's Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the request at their December 10th, meeting at 6:30pm at Town Hall.
The previous operation was operated by Mergerle's Magic and Hildebrand Rides from 2009 until 2019.
According to Carolina Beach Planning Director Jeremy Hardison the landowner indicated, "He will not be returning, but didn’t say who they had" as a new amusement ride operator.
Following a previous announcement that the rides would not be returning for future seasons due to construction of new mixed-use residential and commercial developments on properties that once hosted the rides, as well as COVID-19, many residents and annual visitors expressed a desire for the Town to explore alternative options to bring the amusements back  to the resort town.
The new proposal request Town Council approval to both extend and expand the original Conditional Use Permit issued for the amusement operations in 2009 including expanding the available area for rides.
The request is for a five year extension from 2021 to 2026 with the rides in place for six months out of the year during the summer and shoulder tourism seasons.
Part of the request includes a proposal to use land owned by the Town at 3 Carolina Beach Avenue South and 101 Cape Fear Blvd; the light blue building that was previously home to a beachwear shop and prior to that, the Sterling Craft Mall.
According to the request submitted to the Town, "With the 2009-2019 success of the first decade+ of amusements, arcades, rides and games at the historic boardwalk of Carolina Beach, the Applicant and Land Owner, is requesting an extension and
an expansion of the original conditional use permit originally issued on April 14, 2009, modified in July of 2009 and January 15, 2010. The Conditional Use Permit has brought a family-oriented carnival consisting of a series of large mechanical rides, Kid's rides, fun houses and food stands to the historic Carolina Beach Boardwalk since May of 2009. The applicant is requesting an
extension of five years 2021 through 2026. The facilities will remain in place for a period of not to exceed six months per year (The Season) and would reserve the right to return in succeeding years with a similar operation."

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