About Joanne Shriner

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Ocean City Surf Club Proposes Adopt-Your-Beach Program For 2015

The Ocean City Surf Club has proposed an Adopt-Your-Beach Program that will be further evaluated next year. Pictured is a sign that is used a similar program in California.

OCEAN CITY – The new year may bring the opportunity to adopt your own beach in Ocean City in exchange for four dedicated clean-ups a year.

During the Dec. 8 Police Commission meeting, Terry Steimer of the Ocean City Surf Club (OCSC) proposed an Adopt-Your-Beach Program.

Steimer submitted the OCSC is a grass roots 501c(3) organization fueled by volunteers focused on protecting and maintaining Ocean City’s beaches, and the Adopt-Your-Beach program has evolved from this idea.

“The reason for this is two-fold. One is I have run the ‘Leave Only Your Footprints’ campaign for the last eight years. It is a great campaign. It took off and did well but after eight years I think it has gotten stale, so this is a new initiative that is good for the town, good for us [OCSC], and it is good for the people who use the beach,” Steimer said. “Two is, I grew up here and I see when families come here they use the same beach over and over. They raise their family on the same beach for generations … because that is the beach they are used to coming to.”

The Adopt-Your-Beach program is a beach clean-up effort utilizing volunteers that would be monitored by an Adopt-Your-Beach Committee. All debris found would be recorded by provided forms, so that data can be collected on the types of trash being found in certain areas of the beach.

For a $200 donation to OCSC, one to three blocks of beach can be adopted by individuals, businesses and groups who will clean their area of the beach at least four times a year. Ideally the group will also conduct additional beach clean-ups as the need arises. This is an opportunity for them to be vested in their beach.

The $200 donation will cover costs for trash bags provided to the “adoptees”, as well as signage that will display the adoptees name and t-shirts.

However, Steimer stressed the program is not an advertising opportunity. It is only for those who are serious about keeping their beach clean.

“We will stress they must be sensitive to the dunes as they are a protected area with no individual allowed on the dunes without the permission of the Mayor and City County. We will coordinate our efforts with the dune clean-up group taking care of the dunes at the present time,” the proposal stated.

Police Commission Chair and Councilman Doug Cymek asked what kind of debris will be targeted for pick-up and during what time periods.

Steimer, who works on the Department of Public Works beach cleaning crew, acknowledged city staff keeps the beach in pristine condition but there is always some kind of trash that gets left behind, such as cigarette butts and bottle caps, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a helping hand. Also the volunteers can clean the beach all year-round as long as it’s on four separate occasions.

Mayor Rick Meehan expressed concern over letting the “Leave Only Your Footprints” campaign go to the wayside.

“That [Leave Only Your Footprints] is a daily reminder to everybody to pick up after themselves, so I don’t think you want to abandon that but to have a volunteer program such as this [Adopt-Your-Beach] could be a good thing,” the mayor said.

Meehan also raised concern over the new program getting lost in the new smoke-free initiative that is likely to hit Ocean City’s beaches this summer. The council is scheduled to consider the specifics of an ordinance eliminating cigarettes from the beach and potentially the Boardwalk after the New Year.

“We are doing the smoke-free beach initiative this year and that in itself is going to require a lot of new signage and education … I don’t want this to get lost in the shuffle,” the mayor said.

Cymek agreed.

“It might be beneficial for you to put it off a year, so it gives you your own thunder kicking this program off. That is what you’re going to need to get people to buy into this,” he said.

Public Works Deputy Director John VanFossen pointed out currently the town cleans the beaches every night during the summer season and as calls are received in the off-season to remove debris.

VanFossen stated it could be beneficial to include the dune area and recommended the program be intertwined with the Dune Committee.

“If they go out in the middle of the summer when the beach is packed with people … I picture them more towards the west side of the beach cleaning closer to the dune. I think they would be best suited to clean the dunes, the heads of the streets, the dune crossings, before they actually get on the beach may be more effective,” he said. “The idea we think is good. It is just initiating it and putting it all together.”

Meehan didn’t want to see the commission over think the proposed initiative.

“I think it is a great volunteer program,” the mayor said, as he recommended Steimer look to the Delmarva Condominium Managers Association for a start in enlisting. “That may be a great way to start this program and get people involved. My only thought is maybe get it a little bit more organized and wait until after the smoke-free initiative because you don’t want to get them confused.”

The commission is looking forward to having Steimer return this summer with a more refined plan and for possible implementation of the Adopt-Your-Beach program in the fall season.

 

 

Resort Prefers Highway Focus Be On City-Wide Median Improvements; Concerns Expressed Over ‘Road Diet’ Concept’s Cost, Limited Scope

Medians, such as the one pictured in Atlantic City, were the preferred choice of those put forward by the SHA last week. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY – According to city officials, the words “road diet” and its $25 million cost were viewed negatively by and large, resulting in the Transportation Commission forwarding a recommendation to dedicate existing funding to a median barrier for now.

Last week the State Highway Administration came before the Mayor and City Council to present the MD 528 (Coastal Highway) Community Safety and Enhancement Project. The project is referred to as the “road diet.”

Currently, Coastal Highway is an eight-lane roadway consisting of three, 11-foot travel lanes and a 14-foot bus/bike lane with a five-foot sidewalk on each side that contain several obstructions such as utility poles, signs, benches, fire hydrants and trash barrels. The median is 14 feet wide consisting of brick pavers and some plantings that do not discourage mid-block crossings. The median allows for a 10-foot left turn lane at intersections.

The project limit, or “target area”, is from Route 90 to Convention Center Drive on Coastal Highway, which is approximately 1.4 miles. Within this section, there are 10 signalized intersections with two pedestrian crossing intersections on 49th Street and 54th Street. There are 59 entrances with 38 on the southbound side and 21 on the northbound side.

The road diet proposes Coastal Highway be a six-lane roadway consisting of two 11.5-foot travel lanes, a 12-foot outside lane and a five-foot bike lane with 10-foot sidewalks on each side, and the median remain at 14 feet with a 10-foot left turn lane at intersections.

A couple options were presented on how the outside lane should be designated starting with a bus/right turn lane, which would restrict the outside lane to buses and right turning vehicles as it does today.

Option two would make the outside lane a through/right turn lane that would open the outside lane to through traffic.

The presentation asked if the bike lane should be placed against the curb or in a pocket lane between the outside lane and travel lanes.

The presentation also asked how the buses should approach the bus stops with a dedicated bus lane against the curb. Options include a bike table, which is a peninsula that requires bus riders to walk across the bike lane to meet the bus in the bus lane, a pocket lane where bikes would not interact with the bus lane or have the bus pull through the bike lane.

Next the presentation explored different options to deter pedestrians from crossing the median mid-block.

The first concept was to install a decorative fence down the median that could be combined with plantings to soften the look as done in Atlantic City, N.J. or with special lighting be more visible at night.

The next option is to have raised planters in the median such as along Route 40 in Harford County.

Another median treatment could be a landscaped swale that would also increase stormwater management credits as well as help with drainage along the highway.

The final option would be dense plantings in the medians. Currently, dense planting in the median exists near 25th Street but pedestrians have created a “ghost path” for crossing.

The project schedule has the final design being completed by December of 2015 with construction starting in fall of 2016. Currently, the design stage is funded with $2.4 million. Construction will cost at least $25 million but is not funded at this time.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the Mayor and City Council voted to forward the project to the Transportation Commission for further discussion and feedback.

On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission reviewed the progress of a SHA Pedestrian Safety Study released in October 2012 that identified a list of near-term, mid-term and long-term improvements along Coastal Highway to enhance pedestrian safety.

Near-term improvements included reducing the speed limit south of Route 90 to 35 mph, relocate all bus stops to upstream of signalized intersections, install pavement marking with advance crosswalk warnings similar to the markings located at 49th Street and adjusting signal timing by shortening mainline cycle lengths to improve pedestrian safety by allowing more frequent pedestrians phases. All of the near-term improvements have been completed.

The mid-term improvements focus on deterring pedestrians from crossing at mid-block and outside of signalized pedestrian crosswalks by installing a median barrier, installing three pedestrian actuated signals warranted due to pedestrian volumes in the areas of 42nd, 49th and 54th streets. Two of those signals have been installed on 49th and 54th streets. Also it was suggested removing all pedestrian and emergency vehicle median turndowns.

Lt. Scott Harner, who works closely with SHA on the Pedestrian Safety Committee, reviewed the results of what has been completed so far.

“Since 2008, there was a total of 41 pedestrian related crashed in that target area, 11 involved bicycles, 22 were alcohol involved, 27 of them occurred at night with one fatality in May of 2012,” Harner said. “After this study was conducted, SHA began immediately implementing many of those recommendations and … moving into 2013 the results are a 100-percent reduction in fatalities and a 100-percent reduction in pedestrian crashes.”

The question on the table for the committee, Public Works Director Hal Adkins said, is does Ocean City want SHA to spend the current funding available of $2.4 million on accomplishing the mid-term improvements or skip ahead to the final design of the road diet.

“I don’t mean to sound sarcastic but it is reality … I don’t know where they are going to come up with $25 million to do two years’ worth of work in the near future. I just don’t see it,” Adkins said. “My personal opinion, I would much rather see them do median enhancements the full length of Coastal Highway before the road diet project.”

However, Adkins pointed out it is unknown how much of the $2.4 million design budget has been spent, or if the design dollars could be transferable to construction dollars.

Councilwoman Mary Knight recognized how much of a difference the lights on the Christmas trees in the medians made a difference in being able to see better while driving at night and would much rather see median enhancements such as lighting than a $25 million pie in the sky project.

“We have to attack the mid-term, and what we didn’t do. We have to attack the median, the esthetics, the lighting, and just improve safety before we get to the road diet. A term that when I say it feels like a bad word,” Councilman Tony DeLuca said.

DeLuca acknowledged several big name hotels being built in Ocean City as the resort continues to grow and trouble picturing Coastal Hwy. being reduced to six lanes of traffic.

“Looking at the big picture, if I thought we haven’t made significant process I would be looking at this [road diet] as the alternative. I remember before we had median strips on Coastal Highway, and the business community thought the establishment of medians would be the end of business in Ocean City. After it was completed, those same businesses came back to us and said it was the right thing to do, and recognized SHA and their engineers come up with things we really do need to do,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “If we were starting Ocean City from scratch, this [road diet] would be the way to go to create those bike lanes and everything else.”

Elements of the road diet have potential, Councilman Dennis Dare explained, such as wider sidewalks should be moved up as a higher priority instead of a long-term item.

“I don’t like the idea of doing just this one section of Coastal Highway,” Dare said. “That doesn’t make any sense at all. The reason they picked this [target area] was from the statistics in those years [of the study] and they attributed it to the bars. Well now Ropewalk is going into Frescos, so I guess a couple accidents in the next years will qualify that area.”

It is no secret City Engineer Terry McGean is a proponent of the road diet, but he was disappointed in the SHA presentation of the project.

“Ultimately that [road diet] is where we were going to go. It is going to take a lot of selling … but I would hate to see the whole idea just killed. We do need to pursue it to some point. The SHA did a very poor job explaining the benefits of it,” he said. “Through hard work and good luck we haven’t had any [fatalities] but they are going to come again, and we need to do everything we can on the near term to improve but … I think move forward with the mid-term and ask for most of that design money to go towards that project but leave some money so it’s [road diet] not dead.”

As a result of the commission’s discussion, Knight made a motion to recommend to the SHA and full Mayor and City Council for approval to hold off on the road diet and dedicate the design funding towards completing mid-term improvements on all of Coastal Hwy. that include installing a median barrier with lighting, if warranted install the third pedestrian actuated signal at 42nd Street and removal of all pedestrian median turndowns but leave emergency vehicle turndowns. The commission voted unanimously to approve.

Next the commission reviewed the different options of median barriers presented by SHA last week, and favored the example of Atlantic City’s rod iron fence with landscaping

“We need something people can see through. People riding down Coastal Highway they are looking to see where they are going and where places are. Visibility is important for all business owners and everybody,” Meehan said.

The mayor added, if SHA agrees to move forward with a median barrier, additional pedestrian actuated signals should be considered.

“The pedestrian walkways work and there may be other locations where they need to be considered if we are going to proceed with the medians as has been discussed,” he said.

Dare added the entire signal system on Coastal Highway could be re-thought.

“If 27 percent of the pedestrians are crossing not at the intersection, extending the crossing time doesn’t have anything to do with that. They come up and hit the button and expect the seas to part. I don’t think their solution solves it and they need to look at it comprehensively,” he said.

Knight amended the motion to include SHA consider additional pedestrian signals and conduct a comprehensive signal enhancement. The commission voted unanimously to approve.

 

What Is A “Road Diet”? Ocean City Elected Heard About Concept This Week That Includes New Medians, Dedicated Bike Lanes

Under the “road diet” concept, Coastal Highway from the Route 90 Bridge to the convention center would feature a six-lane roadway with two travel lanes, a dedicated bus lane on the southbound side, a five-foot bike lane and a 10-foot sidewalk in each direction. Rendering courtesy of SHA

OCEAN CITY – The State Highway Administration is proposing a new six-lane Coastal Highway with several options to change the bus/bike lane and add new medians that will deter pedestrians from crossing mid-block.

On Tuesday afternoon, the State Highway Administration (SHA) presented the MD 528, which is Coastal Highway, Community Safety and Enhancement Project.

“We are here today because over the past several years we have been working on a pedestrian safety campaign headed by SHA Assistant District Engineer Dallas Baker … we want to take it one step further and we have been working on what we call a ‘road diet’ for over the past year,” SHA District Engineer Donnie Drewer said.

The design team out of the SHA Office of Highway Design in Baltimore was in attendance to make the presentation.

John Webster of SHA Office of Highway Design presented the purpose of the project is for SHA to partner with the Town of Ocean City and local businesses and residences to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists along Coastal Highway, balance pedestrian needs with vehicular needs, develop aesthetic treatments and strengthen local identity.

The need for the project is due to existing sidewalk widths being insufficient for the pedestrian volumes and to bring sidewalks, entrances, pedestrian ramps and signals up to current ADA standards.

Also, many pedestrians currently cross Coastal Highway at undesirable locations. A Pedestrian Safety Study resulted in 27 percent of pedestrians crossing mid-block. There is a high level of pedestrian-related incidents along this section of the highway. From January 2008 to August 2012, there were 47 pedestrian accidents, one of which was fatal.

Currently Coastal Highway is an eight-lane roadway consisting of three, 11-foot travel lanes and a 14-foot bus/bike lane with a five-foot sidewalk on each side that contain several obstructions such as utility poles, signs, benches, fire hydrants and trash barrels. The median is 14 feet wide consisting of brick pavers and some plantings that do not discourage mid-block crossings. The median allows for a 10-foot left turn lane at intersections.

The project limit is from Route 90 to Convention Center Drive on Coastal Highway, which is approximately 1.4 miles. Within this section, there are 10 signalized intersections with two pedestrian crossing intersections on 49th Street and 54th Street. There are 59 entrances with 38 on the southbound side and 21 on the northbound side.

The road diet proposes Coastal Hwy. be a six-lane roadway consisting of two 11.5-foot travel lanes, a 12-foot outside lane and a five-foot bike lane with 10 -foot sidewalks on each side, and the median remain to 14 feet with a 10-foot left turn lane at intersections.

A couple options were presented in how the outside lane should be designated starting with a bus/right turn lane, which would restrict the outside lane to buses and right turning vehicles as it does today.

The pros to this option are it will minimize delays to the bus schedule, reduces the traffic volume adjacent to the bike lane and minimizes through traffic stopped behind buses at bus stops.

The cons to this option are it excludes through traffic reducing capacity of the roadway, and there are potential conflicts between buses and bikes at bus stops.

Option two would make the outside lane a through/right turn lane that would open the outside lane to through traffic.

The pro to this option is there would be no enforcement needed, while the cons are buses may be delayed due to traffic congestion, there would be more traffic adjacent to the bike lane, and a potential conflict between buses and bikes at bus stops. As well as, there could be an increased risk of accidents as buses will be stopping in a through lane.

The presentation asked if the bike lane should be placed against the curb or in a pocket lane between the outside lane and travel lanes.

“Some feel with the younger bike riders they prefer to have them toward the outside and away from the heavy traffic,” Webster said. “Whereas typically SHA uses more of a pocket lane because experienced riders like to go faster and not be interrupted with the right turn of traffic.”

The presentation also asked how the buses should approach the bus stops with a dedicated bus lane against the curb. Options include a bike table, which is a peninsula that provides bus riders to walk across the bike lane to meet the bus in the bus lane, a pocket lane where bikes would not interact with the bus lane or have the bus pull through the bike lane.

Next the presentation explored different options in how to deter pedestrians from crossing the median mid-block.

The first concept was to install a decorative fence down the median that could be combined with plantings to soften the look as done in Atlantic City, N.J. or with special lighting be more visible at night.

The pros to decorative fencing is it is the most effective method to discourage pedestrians from crossing the median, but the con is if a pedestrian does choose to cross at mid-block they become trapped, as well as it creates a “caged effect” for motorists.

The next option is to have raised planters in the median such as along Route 40 in Harford County. Raised planters can also be decorative and create a boulevard effect while creating additional stormwater management credits but would have to be fairly tall to prevent pedestrians from crossing that would obstruct the view of the other side of the highway.

Another median treatment could be a landscaped swale that would also increase stormwater management credits as well as help with drainage along the highway. However, existing landscape swales have not discouraged pedestrians from mid-block crossings further south on the highway.

The final option would be dense plantings in the medians. Currently, dense planting in the median exists near 25th Street but pedestrians have created a “ghost path” for crossing.

The presentation went on to review existing emergency access points in the median and asked if those should be retained or relocated. Also, it reviewed different stormwater management options such as using porous pavement for the sidewalks. Design challenges when it comes to the storm drain system and existing utilities were also discussed.

Webster acknowledged what is being proposed is a large project and suggested the town create a task force to provide feedback.

The next steps are a public meeting will take place in January or February for feedback. The preliminary design is estimated to be completed by February and the design team would return to the Mayor and City Council by spring to present the design.

The project schedule has the final design being completed by December of 2015 with construction starting in fall of 2016. SHA is estimating it would take two seasons to complete construction. However, currently the project is only funded for design only.

According to Webster, the total budget for the project would come to about $15 million to $25 million depending on what options are chosen.

As far as for preliminary thoughts, Mayor Rick Meehan asserted the median needs to be transparent.

“People are here on vacation, not on I-95 and they need to be able to see through to what is on the other side of the road. Otherwise, you will have a concern from the local businesses,” the mayor said. “You have done a lot of work and the appropriate thing to do is to forward this to the appropriate committees, and also go to the public because you don’t want to get too far with too much when the dollars are so important. There are a lot of expenditures that can be made on that highway to improve it. Let’s make sure to look to those that are feasible and possible to have a short range and long range effect.”

Councilman Dennis Dare, a former city manager, has followed the concept of a road diet for the past several years and was impressed with both the bike table and median swale.

“A pocket bike lane, I don’t know how well that would work in Ocean City. There is an ongoing problem we have now with the buses going over to the curb and the bikes being blocked … so the bike table is appealing,” Dare said. “The median swale would address storm drainage. When SHA designed the original project, the road is elevated and not crowned so everything flows towards the bay. Effectively the median becomes a dam because draining Ocean City is like trying to drain a pool table. There are eight pockets but it is not downhill to any of them.”

Dare furthered median lighting with any option is important.

Dare made a motion to forward the proposed project and all its options to the newly formed Transportation Committee to discuss and provide feedback. The council voted unanimously to approve

Boardwalk Military Banners To Return Next Summer

The Ocean City Mayor and Council unanimously supported the return next summer of the Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program. Some of the banners are shown above at a recent Ocean City Elks Lodge ceremony where they were presented to family members. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City will continue to honor its local home town heroes next summer through a military banner program.

On Tuesday afternoon, Pat Riordan of the OC Elks Lodge Veterans Committee requested of the Mayor and City Council permission to continue the Ocean City Elks Hometown Heroes Military Banner Program in 2015.

The program was created for the community of Ocean City to honor and recognize active duty military personnel that reside in the county. Banners display the official military photo of the service person, as well as his or her name, rank and branch of the Unites States Armed Forces.

The banners are placed on 20 light pole locations on the concrete boardwalk easterly bump outs from Ripley’s Believe It or Not to 4th Street from Springfest in May to Sunfest in September.

To qualify for the Military Banner Program, the honoree has to be an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces and a resident of Worcester County with priority given to active duty military members currently residing in Ocean City.

According to Rioradan, this year’s program featured three Marines, two members from the Air Force, six from the Navy, eight from the Army and one from the Army National Guard,

“We were concerned that we had no Coast Guard people represented because we have a station here in town, but it turned out none of the 32 people stationed there met the requirements of local residency,” he said.

The OC Elks Lodge Veteran’s Committee has identified nine new active duty personnel with a goal to reach 20.

“I don’t think we are going to have a problem meeting that number, but we are asking for everybody’s assistance in identifying active duty military from Worcester County to meet the guidelines,” he said.

Once the banners were removed following Sunfest, a presentation ceremony was held on Oct. 18.

“The program was a very big success … but it [presentation ceremony] was the best part of the program for the year,” Riordan said.

The banner design and printing costs are paid by sponsoring citizens, fraternal organizations and area businesses. However, Riordan asked Public Works personnel to install and remove banners and brackets as needed.

“The banners held up well. We didn’t have any hurricanes, which we were thankful for,” Riordan said. “The only expense to Ocean City would be from the Public Works Department to help put them up for liability reasons.”

Council Secretary Mark Knight enjoyed the presentation ceremony in October at the Elks Lodge.

“I thought the event was really special as evidence by the number of family members that attended. I don’t want that to outdo the fact that those banners were up there every single day and so many people commented on them,” Knight said, as she made a motion to approve the program again for 2015.

The council voted unanimously to approve the banner program for 2015.

“This was one of those programs that were outstanding and well recognized as a tribute to those who serve our country. I get a lot of complaints about just about everything but not about this program. This was something that everybody felt good about,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.

Applications can be mailed to the Ocean City Elks Lodge #2645 and are accepted on an ongoing basis. Banners are raised in the order that the application was received. Applications must include an official military photo of the honoree, verification of military status and proof of residency.

OC Noise Ordinance Tweaks Sought By Entertainment Venues; Current Law’s Fairness Questioned

Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – The restaurant and bar industry is asking for the town’s noise ordinance to be tweaked as a result of the Board of License Commissioners becoming more stringent over violations.

Seacrets owner Leighton Moore came before the Police Commission on Monday morning to recommend changes to the town’s noise ordinance.

Currently, the town’s law regarding noise emanating from dancehalls and nightclubs states, “…no noise emanates from such establishment which is in excess of 65 dB(A) in the daytime hours and 55 dB(A) in the nighttime hours at the adjoining property line or is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the establishment; and each day any such dancehall, nightclub or other business, as aforesaid, shall be operated, maintained or carried on in violation of this division shall constitute a separate offense.”

Moore asserted the noise meter reading should be taken from the complainant’s property line, not 50 feet from the business’s property line.

“Right now, if somebody calls in and they are three blocks away, I don’t know if they really heard anything, or heard music from cars on the street,” Moore said.

Moore used the example of Warren’s Mobile Home Park that is the adjoining neighboring community to the north of Seacrets.

“Let’s say the mobile home park calls in. I think it [meter reading] should be taken and ascertained as to the level that they are hearing, not 50 feet from my property line,” he said. “It would be fair if they do get a meter reading, and it is longer than 30 seconds that they warn the establishment that it is indeed in violation, and the establishment has 20 minutes to secure.”

Moore also suggested after three warnings in a calendar year a violation is submitted each time after.

“Winds do change and sometimes in the heat of the battle to make a living you don’t realize it. That wind could be coming from the east and be blowing out into the bay, but if the wind changes and comes from the south the noise will be hitting the mobile home park and we don’t even realize it,” Moore said. “The way it [ordinance] is written somebody could really do damage to the entertainment outside venues or inside venues for that matter. I would like to just see it addressed, and if necessary make it so it could not be arbitrary.”

According to Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Capt. Kevin Kirstein, the department does not receive many complaints over Seacrets but this past summer season there were repeating issues with a few locations downtown.

Moore came before the commission speaking on behalf of a number of licensees, as noise complaints are being viewed with serious consideration by the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners, an appointed body that grants alcohol licenses and hears any type of violation of the licenses once issued. During recent noise violations, the board has shown a proclivity for acting with a heavy hand, particularly for repeat offenders, and has also been hesitant to issue entertainment privileges when neighbors express early concerns.

“The Board of License Commissioners is unmerciful. They don’t want to hear it,” Moore said. “They are now changing what they are giving as far as the license and the ability in what you can do with music and sound because of the transgressions of one or two establishments. I don’t want to see our industry hampered anymore by different changes in attitude that aren’t justified.”

Kirstein explained the department’s noise enforcement unit also follows the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that allows for more flexibility then the ordinance when it comes to noise.

“The law does say 50 feet, but I know the guys take it upon themselves ordinarily to double that distance before they make an enforcement action,” he said. “If we are going to do it by ear, we require the officers to be able to identify the song or the words to include in the report … noise meters are very difficult to use in this town but we try to use them for commercial properties.”

Kirstein furthered the department does not notify the Board of License Commissioners over a noise complaint, only when there is a violation written.

“It is not unusual for us to get a noise complaint and the complainant wants to remain anonymous but Communications does a pretty good job in finding out where they are located, whether it is hotel or a neighborhood,” he said.

Mayor Rick Meehan questioned if the police department’s practice should become policy.

“I am concerned and always have been over anonymous calls, or at least finding out where they come from so that they can take the reading. It seems arbitrary and one sided. I think we all remember we did have a person in town who would do these kinds of things to cause problems for the businesses, and that is just not right,” Meehan said.

City Solicitor Guy Ayres responded anonymous calls are made by those who are afraid of retribution. He added the purpose of the ordinance is to force property owners to keep the noise level confined to their establishments.

“The way this is worded [Moore’s recommendation] it doesn’t make a difference how much noise comes off the property, as long as it doesn’t break the level from where ever they are complaining from,” Ayres said.

Moore persisted an issue arises when nobody complains around his property but a complaint is received from a distance.

“If somebody complains from two blocks away, I would think the noise level would be over 55 dB(A) at that location, not at my location,” he said.

Brett Wolf of the Noise Board interjected the board has dealt with incidents when noise complaints would be received from Baltimore.

“They would just call to complain because they were trying to prove a point against a specific property … so if you wanted to create a problem for a business, you could call every night and report noise, and the police have to respond and eventually will find a noise violation regardless of how diligent that business owner is,” he said.

Police Commission Chair Councilman Doug Cymek, who previously served on the Noise Board, agreed with Moore’s recommendation to take meter readings from the origin of the complaint.

“You have raised some good points, and I support you on a couple of them … I think it warrants some tweaking of the ordinance. We will probably need to sit down and talk with the police department and the head of the noise unit that is out there on the front line taking the readings. I think you will feel a little bit more comfortable,’ he said.

Meehan added suggested letting the commercial industry in on the SOP to ease concerns associated with the Board of License Commissioners issuing license suspensions or fines as a result of the noise violation.

“That is what puts the businesses in jeopardy, and sometimes they aren’t aware of the problem until after the fact,” he said. “I think 99 percent of licensees comply and play by the rules, and the Board of License Commissioners is trying to do the right thing to make sure they handle things properly but we need to make sure whatever is written in here is what we are doing.”

Councilman Dennis Dare made a motion for the police department to report back to the commission at the next meeting on Jan. 12 with the appropriate personnel in attendance to propose any appropriations of the ordinance form.

“The SOP isn’t readily available to a lot of people, and maybe there are some things in the SOP that would be more appropriate in the ordinance,” he said.

Dare suggested having the procedure of what is reported to the Board of License Commissioners reviewed as well.

“I have had complaints from license holders over complaints being submitted as opposed to violations, and if when warnings are given are they reported,” Dare said.

Dare concluded he also wanted the department to consider always having a meter reading conducted if a violation is being submitted.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the motion.

 

 

 

170-Room Hyatt Hotel Planned For Ocean City; Planning Comm. Approves After Parking Debate

A rendering of the proposed project between Baltimore Avenue at 16th Street and the Boardwalk. Rendering by Fisher Architecture

OCEAN CITY – At last night’s Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, it was learned one of the oldest motels in downtown Ocean City will come down to make room for another big name brand hotel.

On Tuesday evening, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed a site plan for a proposed Hyatt Place Hotel complex to be located on the east and west side of Baltimore Ave. on 16th Street where the Seascape Motel currently stands. The Seascape Motel is a family-owned operation. The applicant of the new project is Tom Bennett, managing member of Seascape Motel, LLC.

The Seascape Motel dates back to the 1950s and was one of the first motels built in Ocean City. It will be replaced with a 105-guestroom Hyatt Place Hotel with four employee housing units, two bridal prep rooms, associated retail area, conference area and a restaurant on the east side of Baltimore Ave. and the ocean. Across Baltimore Ave., the west building will consist of 65 hotel guestrooms with a restaurant.

Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith explained the large scale project would be built by the town’s code “height-by-right” clause, which allows the number of stories to be determined by square footage. The Seascape property contains up to 70,000 square feet, which allows for an eight-story building, 80 feet in height.

The property is also grandfathered into the town’s code and enjoys the right of nonconformity when it comes to density and parking requirements. The project also includes 12 Development Transfer Rights (DTRs) to allow for 12 additional units.

“They had the ability to have 93 units, so they are going to build 105 units. They have one apartment in the existing building and in exchange they receive two hotel rooms. The DTRs would be required as part of the approval of the site plan,” Smith said. “The four, two-bedroom employee apartments are considered as an accessory to the hotel and do not count as density against the project. They will be deed-restricted as accessory use only, and not for rental purposes.”

The Seascape Motel has accumulated parking over time, and currently has the motel parking lot on the east side of Baltimore Ave. as well as two other smaller lots on the west side between Baltimore and Philadelphia avenues.

As proposed, the project would provide a total of 113 parking spaces with 61 spaces under the east building and 52 spaces under the west building. A total 170 rooms are proposed, which without the project’s nonconformity status would make it deficient by about 70 spaces including parking for the apartments, conference area, retail and restaurants. That does not include employee parking.

Commission member Lauren Taylor pointed out between parking for the entire project and employee parking the project has to be deficient by at least 100 spaces.

“There is already no parking there in the summer,” she said. “Additional parking has to be part of this project.”

According to Smith, the family also owns a parking lot on the west side of Baltimore Ave. and 15th Street that provides about 48 parking spaces but the proposal does not commit the lot to the project.

“The property does enjoy nonconformity and although that may discomfort some of you, they have that right,” said attorney Hugh Cropper said, representing the applicant. “The Planning Commission cannot go back and change that code … legally we do not need a parking waiver.”

Cropper explained the separate parking lot on 15th Street is owned by the same family but a different LLC.

“It may be available for a practical matter of employee parking or overflow parking but it is not going to be part of the project,” he said.

While the commission cannot override the code, members are still responsible for ensuring the health, welfare and safety of the community, commission member Peck Miller stated.

“It is our job to make sure the neighborhoods don’t get stressed, that its safe, and we take care of the surrounding community, and I don’t feel this meets that test at all,” Miller said. “We are redeveloping Ocean City, and we should look at the areas in this town … you are not being a good neighbor to do this kind of project to this scale.”

Cropper responded the commission’s mandate of ensuring health, welfare and safety does not give it the power to overrule the law.

“They have not even utilized all of their nonconformity. As an absolute legal matter, they will be less non-conforming at the end of the day then they are now,” he said. “It is beyond your authority, beyond your job, to rewrite the code. You are not recognizing a legally existing nonconformity.”

Taylor, whose family redeveloped the former Santa Maria Motel to the Seascape’s south into a Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, persisted the lack of parking is not only a bad business decision, but will cause a negative impact on the resort.

“I will tell you most people bring more than one car when they come, and the front desk will have nothing but people standing there screaming because they can’t find a place to park. When we redeveloped, we did not use our nonconformity because we wanted to bring it up to current code wanting our guests to be happy by having a place to park,” she said. “You will be charging people $300 a night and they will have nowhere to park. They are not going to want to come back to Ocean City.”

Commission member Palmer Gillis furthered the hotel guests will start to impede on other businesses’ parking lots and neighborhood streets.

“The issue is a how extreme it is,” he said. “As a business person, I always try to exceed the parking code … you are pushing the envelope too far. There is legality and reality. The legality is you meet the code. The reality is you are putting stress on the neighborhood and it will not serve the project as well as it should.”

The parking deficiency for the hotel rooms alone is a problem, Commission member Joel Brous argued, as he asked for some kind of compromise.

Cropper asked for a recess to discuss the issue with the family. Just a few minutes later, he returned before the commission, offering the lot on 15th Street to be used as part of the Hyatt Place Hotel project.

“The family respects your concerns, and if we can get an approval tonight they will deed-restrict the other property and tie it into this project,” Cropper said. “With the additional parking lot, the project would become less deficient by about 30 parking spaces.”

Miller recommended the additional lot be valeted to allow for stacked and compact parking that would lessen the deficiency even further. He made a motion to approve the site plan contingent upon the parking lot on 15th Street be covenant with the project, DTRs be included, the four apartments be deeded as employee housing only and the bridal prep rooms not be rental units.

The commission voted 6-0 to approve with Chair Pam Buckley absent.

According to Keith Fisher of Fisher Architecture, who designed the project, demolition of the Seascape Motel is planned for mid-January, and the east building is estimated to be complete by the 2016 summer season.

The demolition will include several businesses on the Boardwalk side of the existing motel, including Peppers Tavern, a mainstay on the Boardwalk for decades that was formerly known as the Tavern by the Sea. Its’ fate as well as other businesses on the Boardwalk side of the property are unclear at this point but they will be razed as part of the property redevelopment.

 

 

 

 

Major Hotel Addition Planned For Ocean City; 15-Story Structure Would Be Connected To Existing Quality Inn

Rendering by Becker Morgan

OCEAN CITY – A new oceanfront 15-story hotel proposed for Ocean City received formal site plan approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission last week.

Last Tuesday evening the Planning and Zoning Commission held an informal discussion regarding the Planned Overlay District to include a 15-story hotel, which will have 101 units. The site of the proposed hotel in the Planned Overlay District is on the south side of 34th Street on the ocean.

The design of the new hotel was presented by Jack Mumford of Becker Morgan Group. The applicant is OC Hotel Holdings, LLC.

Currently, the Quality Inn & Suites Beach Front stands on the north side of 33rd Street. The new hotel will be built on a vacant lot to the north of the Quality Inn and as proposed will be connected to the Quality Inn to share amenities.

Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith explained existing projects that are similar to what is being proposed are the Hilton located on 32nd Street and the ocean, the Holiday Inn on 17th Street and the ocean and the Gateway Grand on 48th Street and the ocean, which were also designed by Becker Morgan Group.

According to Ocean City Code, construction in the Planned Overlay District must meet a minimum of 90,000 square feet of lot area located in the permitted zoning district.

“There is something unique about it that it offers something better than the ‘factory version’ that would have more land coverage, so you are getting more open space,” Smith said.

At first, a 12-story building was designed to go along with Ocean City Code’s “height-by-right” regulation, Mumford explained, but the hotel ended up with only a few units facing the ocean while most faced the street on the north side, elevated parking and an elevated pool.

“We decided to come back with a smaller foot print with 15 stories rather than 12, so it is about 30 feet taller than what would be allowed with height-by-right but we were able to get all of the units oceanfront,” Mumford said. “We were also able to keep a vast majority of the site open, so we have more landscaping and light and air for the neighborhood.”

Mumford added the plan also includes more than what will be required for parking.

“The new hotel will be attached to the existing Quality Inn. It may function as two different brands with a shared front desk, but basically the amenities of the existing Quality Inn will be shared,” Mumford said. “We are adding a new pool on the oceanfront, and we enlarged the trash collection area but they will still work together.”

Mumford furthered, as done with the Hilton, Holiday Inn and Gateway Grand they are stepping the building, so it absorbs its own shadow as it gets taller. According to Ocean City Code, a shadow study was conducted on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.

“We managed the shadows so there is no shadows cast across the street on neighbors or onto the beach past the dune line,” Mumford said.

In the near future, a formal site plan will come before the commission for review, attorney Joe Moore stated, who is representing the applicant.

“It really strikes you as a beautiful building,” he said.

Commission member Palmer Gillis and Commission Chair Pam Buckley both agreed.

“It is very functional with great landscaping,” Commission member Lauren Taylor said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously that as a result of a preliminary discussion the proposed site plan appears to be satisfactory. A formal site plan review will come before the commission in the future for a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and City Council for approval.

More Ocean City Canals Added To Off-Season Dredging Effort

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OCEAN CITY – Three more canals were added to the to-do list this week as Ocean City moves forward with the much anticipated and high-priority canal dredging project.

City Engineer Terry McGean came before the Mayor and City Council on Wednesday afternoon to amend the existing dredging contract with Hi-Tide Marine to include dredging canals at 25th street and on the east and west sides of Tern Dr., covering 5,214 cubic yards at the price of $47 per cubic yard, totaling $245,058.

McGean explained in October of 2013 the council made its first move on the canal dredging project. The council appropriated $500,000 from the city’s fund balance and awarded Hi-Tide Marine the bid to conduct the first phase of canal dredging in February.

“By the time we were able to get all the procurement documents together and get a contract awarded, we basically had about 15 days before the federal government was going to shut us down for restrictions for flounder. They won’t let us dredge basically after April 1, so we weren’t able to get the dredging started until this fall,’ McGean said.

The first phase of canal dredging currently underway includes Canal #19, which is at Trimpers and Hitchens avenues; Canal #29, which is 48th Street surrounded by the Wight Bay Condominium; and Canal #21, which is on the south side of 52nd Street.

The contract also includes four large storm drain outfalls where the sediment from those outfalls is plugging the canals. The four outfalls are located on Seaweed Lane, Tunnel Ave., Sinepuxent Ave. and Jamaica Ave.

“The first three canals were the shallowest canals, so they were our top priority, and the outfalls we received historic complaints about,” McGean said.

McGean furthered the council approved $250,000 in the current Fiscal Year 2015 budget for additional dredging, and Hi-Tide Marine has agreed to hold its bid unit price to dredge additional canals this season.

“I looked at out canal priority list … and tried to find some canals that would approach that total and were relatively in the same general area as where Hi-Tide is working now. I identified three canals,” he said.

The first canal is located at 25 1/2 Street where the old Misty Harbor Motel was once located. The property is currently vacant and the bulkhead was recently improved.

The second canal is between Tern and Plover drives, and third canal is between Tern Dr. and the back side of Jolly Roger Amusement Park.

According to McGean, the bulkhead between Tern and Plover is generally in good condition but not so much behind Jolly Roger that has moved up in priority between the effects of the Robin Drive Shore Line Project and Hurricane Sandy.

“Is it ready to collapse? No, they have done some structural repairs. However, it is leaking. This is a tough one because on other canals when we have failing bulkheads on both sides you would have an incentive for those people because they are docking their boats. At Jolly Roger. no one is docking boats in that canal, and it is a very long stretch of bulkhead we are talking about,” McGean said. “If we say we are not going to dredge this canal until the bulkhead is repaired or replaced, it will be quite some time because it is not at the point where we would condemn it. It is in that grey area, and in this case you would be penalizing the people on the east side of Tern for something they necessarily don’t have a lot of control over.”

Councilman Doug Cymek suggested McGean speak with the Jolly Roger property owner who could be amenable to interim bulkhead repairs.

“Knowing the owner, I would say, yes, and I would be happy to go down there and try to work something out,” McGean said.

Mayor Rick Meehan recalled when canal dredging discussions arrived it was noted the canals without decent bulkheads should not be prioritized.

“We want to make sure when we dredge the canals it would be effective, and for it to be effective as it can possibly be that would be the right thing to do,” he said.

Councilman Wayne Hartman asked where the town stands with the canal dredging schedule.

McGean responded with the first phase just now being conducted and lack of funding the town is behind schedule.

“It will take seven years to get all of the high-priority canals done. I have permitted the first three years’ worth of canals. We would like to be able to spend $500,000 to $600,000 per year to reach that goal. The first year we took $500,000 out of fund balance. This current year we appropriated $250,000, so we are behind this year,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the amendment to the existing canal contract to include dredging canals at 25th Street and on the east and west sides of Tern Dr.

“I have already had a gentleman come up to me to thank us for finally beginning the dredging process. He understood it had been a long time coming but he was happy that it had begun … we can now see the light at the end of the canal as things are moving forward,” the mayor said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Ocean City Canals Added To Off-Season Dredging Effort

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OCEAN CITY – Three more canals were added to the to-do list this week as Ocean City moves forward with the much anticipated and high-priority canal dredging project.

City Engineer Terry McGean came before the Mayor and City Council on Wednesday afternoon to amend the existing dredging contract with Hi-Tide Marine to include dredging canals at 25th street and on the east and west sides of Tern Dr., covering 5,214 cubic yards at the price of $47 per cubic yard, totaling $245,058.

McGean explained in October of 2013 the council made its first move on the canal dredging project. The council appropriated $500,000 from the city’s fund balance and awarded Hi-Tide Marine the bid to conduct the first phase of canal dredging in February.

“By the time we were able to get all the procurement documents together and get a contract awarded, we basically had about 15 days before the federal government was going to shut us down for restrictions for flounder. They won’t let us dredge basically after April 1, so we weren’t able to get the dredging started until this fall,’ McGean said.

The first phase of canal dredging currently underway includes Canal #19, which is at Trimpers and Hitchens avenues; Canal #29, which is 48th Street surrounded by the Wight Bay Condominium; and Canal #21, which is on the south side of 52nd Street.

The contract also includes four large storm drain outfalls where the sediment from those outfalls is plugging the canals. The four outfalls are located on Seaweed Lane, Tunnel Ave., Sinepuxent Ave. and Jamaica Ave.

“The first three canals were the shallowest canals, so they were our top priority, and the outfalls we received historic complaints about,” McGean said.

McGean furthered the council approved $250,000 in the current Fiscal Year 2015 budget for additional dredging, and Hi-Tide Marine has agreed to hold its bid unit price to dredge additional canals this season.

“I looked at out canal priority list … and tried to find some canals that would approach that total and were relatively in the same general area as where Hi-Tide is working now. I identified three canals,” he said.

The first canal is located at 25 1/2 Street where the old Misty Harbor Motel was once located. The property is currently vacant and the bulkhead was recently improved.

The second canal is between Tern and Plover drives, and third canal is between Tern Dr. and the back side of Jolly Roger Amusement Park.

According to McGean, the bulkhead between Tern and Plover is generally in good condition but not so much behind Jolly Roger that has moved up in priority between the effects of the Robin Drive Shore Line Project and Hurricane Sandy.

“Is it ready to collapse? No, they have done some structural repairs. However, it is leaking. This is a tough one because on other canals when we have failing bulkheads on both sides you would have an incentive for those people because they are docking their boats. At Jolly Roger. no one is docking boats in that canal, and it is a very long stretch of bulkhead we are talking about,” McGean said. “If we say we are not going to dredge this canal until the bulkhead is repaired or replaced, it will be quite some time because it is not at the point where we would condemn it. It is in that grey area, and in this case you would be penalizing the people on the east side of Tern for something they necessarily don’t have a lot of control over.”

Councilman Doug Cymek suggested McGean speak with the Jolly Roger property owner who could be amenable to interim bulkhead repairs.

“Knowing the owner, I would say, yes, and I would be happy to go down there and try to work something out,” McGean said.

Mayor Rick Meehan recalled when canal dredging discussions arrived it was noted the canals without decent bulkheads should not be prioritized.

“We want to make sure when we dredge the canals it would be effective, and for it to be effective as it can possibly be that would be the right thing to do,” he said.

Councilman Wayne Hartman asked where the town stands with the canal dredging schedule.

McGean responded with the first phase just now being conducted and lack of funding the town is behind schedule.

“It will take seven years to get all of the high-priority canals done. I have permitted the first three years’ worth of canals. We would like to be able to spend $500,000 to $600,000 per year to reach that goal. The first year we took $500,000 out of fund balance. This current year we appropriated $250,000, so we are behind this year,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the amendment to the existing canal contract to include dredging canals at 25th Street and on the east and west sides of Tern Dr.

“I have already had a gentleman come up to me to thank us for finally beginning the dredging process. He understood it had been a long time coming but he was happy that it had begun … we can now see the light at the end of the canal as things are moving forward,” the mayor said.

 

Concept Pitched To Market Ocean City As Major Fishing Destination

A new website, www.FishInOC.com, has been created to market the town's popular industry. Screenshort courtesy of D3Corp and Fish In OC, LLC

OCEAN CITY – A local fishing expert could be casting the line to reel in a larger population of visitors to Ocean City to take advantage of all the fishing opportunities the resort has to offer.

On Monday afternoon, Scott Lenox of Fish In OC, LLC., who is also a host of Hooked on OC, pitched the travel show concept of Fish In OC to the Tourism Commission.

“Scott [Lenox] approached me several months ago about a concept to market Ocean City as a destination for fishing similar to Ocean City Golf Getaway, which is a market co-op of all the golf courses. It really is an industry that is scattered … with real no cohesive effort to push fishing,” Tourism Director Donna Abbott said.

Lenox first appeared before the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), which favored the concept but recommended he go before the Tourism Commission as TAB’s duties focus on bringing forward and assisting to fund new special events, not marketing ventures.

Lenox explained he attended a golf trade show last March representing Ocean Pines with OC Golf Getaway where an attendee recognized him from the Hooked On OC show.

“We started talking and by the end of the conversation he was coming to Ocean City to see what the White Marlin Open was all about,” Lenox said.

That is when Lenox realized there is not a co-op marketing initiative for fishing in Ocean City.

“The ball started to get rolling … and now it is way further along than I would have expected in the first year,” said Lenox, who has taken the concept on independently. “I have gotten a lot of industry support … I currently have eight boats that are going to be involved with me, and all but one marina that is still thinking about it right now, as well as a lot of support from the shoulder industry such as restaurants and hotels.”

Lenox has created a Fish In OC trade show booth and has already booked six outdoor trade shows scattered through New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“There is everything from fishing to hunting, to people selling jet skis and RVs. The first show is in Harrisburg in February. I know the town goes there to represent Ocean City and the tourism part of it but I am going to be there for both,” Lenox said.

Lenox and D3Corp has also created a website, www.FishInOC.com, and a trip planner that will offer the different boats in Ocean City, accommodations, things to do and more.

Fish In OC is also giving away fishing trips in Ocean City as a mechanism to build an email database. The same idea has been done by the town with the OC Experience, which is a trade show booth concept brought forward by event promoter Brad Hoffman a few years ago.

Lenox proposed to the Tourism Commission a $15,000 advertising package that includes the display of Ocean City tourism videos while Fish In OC attends the six outdoor travel shows where a potential 300,000 people attend.

“On one television I am going to have Hooked On OC … on the opposite side of the booth I am going to show tourism videos,” Lenox explained.

Also, the Ocean City logo will be displayed on the front page of the Fishing Planner with a full page advertisement on the back of the Fishing Planner as done with the OC Golf Getaway magazine.

There will be a link to the town’s website, www.OCocean.com on the front page of www.FishInOC.com, along with Ocean City features such as the Boardwalk will be listed under Fish In OC website’s Things to Do tab. Ocean City’s Vacation Guide will be distributed at the trade shows to at least 300,000 people. Lenox does the writing for the fishing section of that guide.

“I am going to be in a different neck of the woods, shaking hands with people … and any of you that know me and know how long I have lived in Ocean City should feel confident that if any questions come up about Ocean City in general I would be ok to answer those too. You would have a good representative at the shows not just for fishing but for the tourism part of it also,” Lenox said.

Abbott pointed out the current budget includes $10,000 to fund travel show expenses.

“When you look at what Ocean City offers, outdoor recreational activities such as this is part of the draw to Ocean City. Obviously we have successful marinas, businesses that rent boats and things of that nature,” Mayor Rick Meehan said. “It is good to change it up a little it. There is a growing need for marketing opportunities for fishing … I would suggest that this becomes our trade show initiative for this year.”

Councilman Dennis Dare agreed there is a large market for fishing in Ocean City that not only includes hundreds of boat rentals and marinas, but also bait and tackle shops, as well as hotels and restaurants will benefit.

The mayor recommended the Town support Fish In OC with the $10,000 advertising budgeted for trade shows as well as throw in OC Experience’s equipment as an in-kind service to make up for the $5,000 difference.

The commission voted unanimously to forward a favorable recommendation to the full council to approve the marketing opportunity with Fish In OC, LLC to operate the Town of Ocean City’s trade show initiative this year. The concept will come before the council next week.