Condo Owners Irked Over Proposed Paid Parking Plan

OCEAN CITY – It’s deja vu for condominium owners on 146th Street as a paid parking battle they thought was won a few years ago has resurfaced.

Last Friday the Mayor and City Council voted to implement paid parking in several new areas around town, including the ocean block of 146th Street. After reading about the decision through this publication’s electronic news service, Ocean Place Condominium Association President of Board of Directors Ron Deacon reached out to The Dispatch and the Mayor and City Council to express his dismay.

“We are one of only a few streets that will have paid parking. I have never understood why a city government decides to implement a policy that significantly affects some of its taxpayers yet does not feel the need to let them know ahead of time or give them an opportunity to express their view. But apparently that does happen in Ocean City. Thank goodness other jurisdictions treat their taxpayers somewhat better,” Deacon wrote in a letter to the council. “We again oppose this action for several reasons. We will attend a council meeting and will do everything we can to reverse this decision. We believe that before this decision was made that input from nearby residents would have been very helpful. I would hope that the desire for revenue would not encourage the city government to ignore the wellbeing of a small group of its citizens.”

Fulton Brown, an Ocean Place resident of 30 years, followed with an email to the Mayor and City Council expressing his disappointment over the recent decision to install paid parking on 146th Street.

“You will recall that this issue came up three years ago. At that time, council made the unilateral decision to extend and widen our street, while giving consideration to paid parking. After the residents of Ocean Place voiced their concerns, the scope of the street expansion was modified, and the idea of singling out isolated streets for paid parking outside of the downtown CBD [Central Business District] was abandoned. Of great concern at that time and now again, is the fact that council made the decision without either notifying the affected taxpayers beforehand or soliciting our input. Isn’t it reasonable that the elected officials, spending my tax dollars, would at the very least extend the courtesy of soliciting input before they make decisions that directly impact me and my family?” Brown submitted.

Brown quoted City Engineer Terry McGean in his presentation to the Mayor and Council last Friday of the potential paid parking on 146th Street. “It appears to be pretty much daytrippers on this street,” McGean said.

McGean presented the Mayor and Council with an image found on Google Maps of 146th St. on a summer day when every parking space on the street is taken and the Ocean Place parking lot is mostly empty.

“Each condo owner has spaces deeded to them based on the number of bedrooms in their unit. As a two-bedroom unit owner, I have two spaces assigned. When children and friends come to visit, as they often do, they must park on the street. The installation of paid parking will result in residents having to pay to park at our residence. We will literally be feeding a meter all day long. It is genuinely offensive for our elected officials to repeatedly characterize us as ‘daytrippers’ without soliciting input or doing research,” Brown said.

Brown furthered 146th Street is the only residential street chosen by the council to install paid parking.

“Picking out an isolated residential street of outside the downtown CBD is akin to spot zoning … all the other spaces are either from the Boardwalk down to the Inlet, or in areas where installing meters would encourage the turnover of the spaces to the benefit of the local businesses,” Brown submitted. “I respectfully request that this decision be revisited once again. As a business owner, I can certainly appreciate the city’s need to increase revenues. Recognizing that, increasing revenues at the expense of one set of taxpaying residents is just wrong.”

In June of 2010, it was also during budget time the Mayor and Council were presented with implementing paid parking on 146th Street to increase revenue. In the end, after 27 angry emails and a flooded council chambers of peeved uptown residents, the council changed its mind about putting parking meters on the street.

The battle is sure to continue as Deacon and other residents are already planning on attending a Mayor and Council meeting in the near future.

11 comments on “Condo Owners Irked Over Proposed Paid Parking Plan

  1. I wrote my own screed to the city council and pointed out the many unintended consequences of this considering the limited revenue it will generate while making visitors reconsider their plans.

    Stockton California is a similar tourist town like ours (Google it) and we don’t seem to be far behind their glidepath to insolvency.

    The council was told that pay parking at the convention center would hurt business. So they didn’t even bring that up for a vote.

    Where is the consistency?

  2. I commend the Council and City Engineer for trying to raise revenues creatively. However, paid parking on residential streets should be handled the same way it is by our neighbors to the north. Every street is now paid parking during the summer season. This should include bay and ocean side streets and would then be fair to everyone.

    No one was promised free street parking when they purchased or rented a condo or house in OC, they are afforded adequate parking based on the number of bedrooms in the dwelling only.

  3. That’s the “new direction” for you. Voters in last council election supported Meehan, Mitrecic, Cymek, Knight & Dare “the big spenders” who in turn promised raises to union employees. Result “all” others will pay so town employees can get a raise. No funds available for street improvements but we can pay town employees more. Contact the council & voice “no paid parking” maybe they should not have promised 2 raises per year to union employees.

  4. OC needs to stop its private WAR with “day trippers”. This visitor group spends money in OC just like others. To try to weed out smaller spenders is simply selfish and greedy particularly when putting the impact on taxpayers for the Town. The Town Management grants NEW company cars to senior management. They give FREE bus rides to taxpayer funded government workers. THey give FREE bus rides to kids graduating who come here with wallets stuffed with cash from their parents (really, they can’t afford 3 bucks for a bus?). THEN, they reduce available earning hours to OC bus drivers (who have not had a raise in 5 years) in order to save costs. If this is the result of having a NEW Town Manager, it sucks!

  5. PAID PARKING ON THE SIDE STREETS JUST WILL CAUSE HARD FEELINGS WITH RENTERS AND I WORK IN OCEAN CITY AND HAVE TO PARK ON THE SIDE STREET. WHERE WILL ALL THE WORKERS IN THAT AREA PARK. ITS ALREADY DIFFICULT IN THE SUMMERTIME TO FIND A PARKING SPACE AND IT WILL NOT BE WORTH WORKING IN THIS TOWN IF YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR ALL DAY PARKING. ARE THEY GOING TO PUT METERS ON CITY HALLS PARKING LOT? CITY HALL WORKERS MAKE MORE THAN MOST IN THIS TOWN LET THEM MAKE SOME SACRIFICES.

  6. Greed!!! we do not need anymore paid parking!! this is crazy! eveyone from 131, 49th, and 146th needs to flood city hall the next meeting. And email them

  7. Ocean City visitors come into town and pay for a place to stay, they pay when the go out to eat and now they have to pay to enjoy a few hours of relaxation at the beach. THe beach is a big part of what draws the visitors but if now they have to pay to park in one of the streets where nothing happens but beachtime, I think it is just sad. Let’s just close the Welcome sign to Ocean City, Md down.

  8. Sounds like to me, that the city council and the mayors office (including the mayor) needs to take a drastic pay-cut.

    What’s next, daily beach permits or boardwalk passes?????

    I’m guessing that the city council and mayor parks for free anywhere within OC?

  9. No Virginia, there is no Fairy Godmother. It’s hard to recognize this given the way the Town is now being run. It’s David Recor’s job to put the operating budget together. The Council eventually needs to approve it after some back and forth discussion for modifications. The part nobody can escape is the Operating Budget but the total budget includes both Operating Budget and procurement (capital expenditures for new assets as well as carrying out any policies that the Council choses to adapt). Many jurisdictions have for too long feeding off of “grants”. These grants are simply money that higher governments couldn’t find any use for. They are taxpayer funds. When the State for example “gives away” leftover money in the form of Grants, municipalities such as OC suck up. The problem is that these grants help them buy “stuff” but do not help fund any support/maintenance the new stuff requires. Salisbury for example got a “free” fireboat. How do they pay to maintain it? Easy, removes some services or raise taxes. OC has a Cadillac of sorts mobil command center that they got as a grant. First thing they needed to do was put money out to construct a garages to keep it in and that required more taxpayer funds. It just goes on and on.

    Now, the most recent flap over paid parking on “selective” streets can only benefit “selective” business owners because they want customer turnover not turn away due to lack of parking. The problem is that it backlashes other business when visitors (please don’t stereotype them as “day trippers”) look for free parking elsewhere including the lots of OTHER business owners. Many day trippers are Hispanic. They used to frequent the space under the fishing pier so OC plowed the sand to stop them. Isn’t this a form of illegal discrimination? The Town HR person (Wayne something) will preach anti sex discrimination yet their communications department is ALL female. Has ANYONE with a scanner ever heard a MALE voice coming from this department? Basically, OC is a town of a wink with a handshake who the majority property owners have no representation. It’s amazing to me that those property owners have successfully been ignored all these years. Even BUSHMAN knows this.

  10. Finally, the citizens are uprising. Council needs to cut employee overtime, cars, expense reimbursements etc… Double Dipping Dare is getting a big retirement salary on our backs, and now he has the power trip on the Council. Did you see the salaries that OC employees are making? No more parking meters.

  11. Et tu FG? We limited numbered year rounders will always be ignored. Its the nature of the beast and will never change ~ hence the ever present need for a wink/handshake. Permits will cost additional funds to produce – lest we are left with parking generated revenue. Union contacts locked so downsizing isn’t on the horizon. Continued strategic planning is key. If anyone thought getting out from the deep financial hole would transpire in 2013, they were sadly mistaken.

    With or without a Fairy Godmother – it won’t happen in 2014 either.

    My focus? SPRINGFEST 2013 ~ where I cannot wait to eat and have several spirits!!

    ~BUSHMAN!~

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