City Property Auction, Height Rules OK’d

OCEAN CITY – Two ordinances came before the Mayor and Council at Monday night’s meeting, one calling for amendments to downtown height regulations and the other authorizing the sale of surplus property.

The Mayor and Council were presented with the ordinance to amend Chapter 11, entitled Zoning, which will allow for changes in height limits from North Division Street to 3rd Street. The amendment refers specifically to the section title Bulk Regulations.

The issue arose at last week’s work session when Jesse Houston, Director of Planning and Development, explained that prior to the vote to adopt the ordinance on downtown height regulations in June, the Mayor and Council decided to make a change to the maximum height between Baltimore and Philadelphia Ave. Discussions over the proposed maximum height of four stories and 40 feet resulted in the decision to lower the maximum height. The council voted, prior to approval of the ordinance on second reading, to amend the height to three stores and 35 feet in the areas between Baltimore Ave. and Philadelphia Ave. from 3rd Street to 15th Street.

According to Houston, that change affected the R-3A district, 3rd Street to 15th Street, but not the DMX district, North Division to 3rd Street. Houston explained to the Mayor and Council that although he was sure the council meant to include the areas of Baltimore Ave. to St. Louis Ave. from North Division to 3rd Street, an amendment to the ordinance must be made.

The ordinance outlining the amendments appeared before the Mayor and Council Monday night for first reading. The ordinance will now read that the maximum building height, “shall be no more than four stories, except between Baltimore Ave. and St. Louis Ave. from North Division Street to 3rd Street, shall be no more than 35 feet and shall be no more than three stories.”

Concerns that projects had already been approved in that area had arisen at the work session as well, but Council member Nancy Howard confirmed Monday night that they’re currently no projects under review that would apply to the amendments.

The council voted six in favor with Councilman Jim Hall abstaining.

The ordinance authorizing the sale of surplus personal property was also presented to the Mayor and Council Monday evening, resulting in the unanimous decision from the council to pass the ordinance on second reading.

The list of items to be auctioned ranges from items worn out beyond economical repair such as Echo chainsaws, Echo weedeaters, and Echo blowers, to a confiscated 94’ Cadillac Deville and a confiscated 96’ Ford Explorer. All items will be publicly auctioned Oct. 13.