Study Raises Questions Of OC Corridor’s Future

OCEAN CITY – A field study survey along Baltimore Avenue commenced earlier this month and will continue through the spring of 2008 in an effort to verify the exact boundaries of the north-south corridor’s right of way.

A letter was recently sent to all property owners along Baltimore Avenue from the Ocean City Public Works Department in an effort to inform all stakeholders of the plans to survey the area of Baltimore Avenue from the inlet to 15th Street.

The town has employed Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP as surveyors for the project, which will amount to a $142,000 contract.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins explained this week that the survey study would primarily be focusing on the area of North Division Street to 15th Street and secondarily on the area from North Division Street south to the Inlet.

Questions have surfaced from local property owners on what exactly is the plan behind this study. However, Adkins explained that the field study was being conducted in an effort to verify the existence or location of the original Baltimore Avenue right of way. The area was originally plated in 1875 and a field study survey would work as an updated plan or verification of the boundaries between Baltimore Avenue and individual property lines.

“We will be surveying the actual boundaries of the original plat in an effort to define the exact location of the unimproved portions and every single encroachment in our right of way,” Adkins said, explaining that the survey study would give a clear picture of encroachments that are technically crossing onto the boundaries of the town’s plat.

Although the study will reveal encroachments, no corrective actions will be taken. The results will be used only as an indicator of the boundaries and will essentially be used as a detailed map that will show the existence of the actual right of way.

Although the survey study is underway, there are no plans on the horizon for Baltimore Ave. Adkins maintained that the survey study would be used as a planning tool that would allow the town to make educated decisions in the future if necessary.

Although no plans have been discussed, the survey study could help in making future decisions on expanding sidewalks, implementing a bike lane or burying the remaining above ground utility lines that remain along Baltimore Ave from 9th to 15th streets. Adkins explained that the results of the survey study would be used as a foundation for that information.

Adkins noted that he has fielded a handful of phone calls inquiring about the surveying with few concerns about the results, and that all property owners have been informed that there are no plans scheduled along Baltimore Ave.

In a letter to property owners, Adkins explained that, “during the survey, stakes, ribbon (flagging), and other items will be used to mark survey points. These should not be confused with the actual corners or line monuments marking the boundaries.” The letter also encourages property owners to point out to field personnel any conditions along their property, such as underground sprinkler systems, that might not be readily apparent to them.

The project, which began in mid-October, is anticipated to be completed by spring of 2008, and the results will be presented to the Mayor and Council at that time.