Building Permit Extension Request Granted In Resort

OCEAN CITY – A construction project along the bay near 11th
Street, stalled in large part because of a stagnant real estate market, got a
building permit extension this week when the developer was able to convince
resort officials the end result was going to be worth the wait.

The project is a work in progress on a bayfront lot along
Edgewater Avenue near 11th Street, but has stalled somewhat because
of concerns over the real estate market in the resort area. At the moment, much
of the site preparation work is complete and concrete support columns are
sticking out of the ground, but that is as far along it is while the building
permit, which has been extended by the town’s Building Inspector’s Office
already, is set to expire on May 31.

The developer, Bob Warfield, has exhausted the permit
extensions he can receive from the building inspector’s office and turned this
week to the Mayor and Council to intercede on his behalf.

The project, designed by Dave Quillen and Ocean Minded
Construction Services, Inc., will feature state-of-the-art,
environmentally-friendly “green” building components and will comply with or
exceed the downtown design standards, according to the developer’s attorney.

“There is absolutely nothing like it in Ocean City, or
maybe even on the east coast,” said Attorney Joe Moore, who represented
Warfield at the meeting with the Mayor and Council on Monday.

Moore said the project will feature the U.S. Green
Building Council’s strict LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
standards. It is not unusual for building permits to expire for projects in the
resort for a variety of reasons, and some projects often go unfinished for
years, but Moore explained the environmental benefits of the project along
Edgewater Avenue warranted an extension by the council at this time. Moore said
the soft real estate market was in part responsible for the slow pace of the
project.

“The practical problem we face is the market,” he said.
“The building permit expires on May 31, and we hope you will allow us an
extension because of the nature of the project and the pristine condition of
the site.”

Warfield was seeking a one-year extension on the building
permit, and while they were receptive to the idea of extending the permit, the
council members ultimately opted on a six-month extension.

“I think we need to grant the extension and revisit the
issue in six months,” said Councilman Jim Hall. “I agree you’re caught in a
weird market right now.”

The
council approved the extension after asking for some concessions such as the
inclusion of eight-foot sidewalks where possible, keeping the construction site
as clean as possible in the interim and adhering to downtown design standards. 

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