Developer Proposes Retaining Wall For Stalled Project

OCEAN CITY – Issues
surrounding an Edgewater Avenue condominium project were resolved to some
extent this week, as developer Bob Warfield reported that he would be
installing a permanent retaining wall along the length of the property, in an
effort to prevent further damage to neighboring properties.

Neighboring condominium
units to the 1111 Edgewater project, particularly those residing at 1201 Edgewater Avenue,
have voiced several complaints to the Mayor and Council as of late, regarding
runoff and damage to their property.

The proposed bayfront
condominium project was stalled last year, due in large part to a stagnant real
estate market and other financial concerns. Developer Bob Warfield was given a
one-year extension for the building permit in November of last year, with the
conditions that the lot is cleaned up in the interim and the issues of runoff
on neighboring properties are addressed.

While the property was
ultimately cleaned up, with the rebar painted, fencing put up and shrubbery
planted, the runoff issue has reportedly remained a problem for the last year.

The issue was addressed
at a regular session of the Mayor and City Council two weeks ago, when City
Engineer Terry McGean explained several letters had been sent to Warfield
regarding the runoff issue, with no response or action taken.

Warfield then created a
temporary retaining wall along the length of the property. The timber temporary
retaining wall would work to control the runoff, directing the water away from
the neighboring properties.

Neighbors remained
skeptical, however, with several people addressing the council about the issue
during the meeting. Among the complaints were concerns regarding the long-term
plans for the project. With the real estate market likely to remain in its
current state for the time being, neighbors questioned when and if the project
would continue towards completion. Neighbors also questioned whether the
temporary retaining wall would be sufficient during that time.

In an effort to resolve
the ongoing situation, Warfield agreed to replace the temporary retaining wall
with a permanent wall, an effort that would need to be done at the end of the
project anyway.

Warfield returned to a
regular session of the Mayor and Council this week, reporting that a permanent,
concrete retaining wall would be installed, hopefully within the next two
weeks. “I think we can get it done, in short order, within a week or so,” he
said.

McGean explained the
concept for the retaining wall, which will direct the majority of the runoff
toward the street, with some water flowing off the back of the property into
the bay.

The concrete wall or
curb will be placed along the entire length of the property, within inches of
the property line so as not to disturb the neighboring property. The wall will
stand eight inches above ground as well as 10 inches beneath the ground, to
prevent water from gaining access to the neighboring property by flowing
underneath the wall.

“That should prevent any
runoff from getting on your property,” said McGean to concerned neighbors
present at the meeting.

Dr. Jim Kramer, a
neighboring property owner, remained hesitant about the proposed solution.

“We love the idea of the
concrete wall, but I’d still like to see a little bit of a berm,” he said.

Kramer explained that
placing additional dirt along the wall would help to reinforce the barrier and
ensure runoff stays off his property.

The council voted
unanimously to set a 20-day timeline for the installation of the concrete wall.
Additionally, the council directed Warfield to have all excavated material used
to supplement the wall.

 

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