City Irons Out Library Parking Lot Situation

OCEAN CITY – With the completion of the new Ocean City Library branch set for early 2008, all loose ends on the project, including parking, need to be addressed.

At a work session of the Mayor and Council on Tuesday, City Engineer Terry McGean brought up the issue of parking at the new 100th Street library.

According to McGean, the library’s parking lot will have 22 parking spaces with two handicap spaces, which is a significant increase over the current 14th Street library, which has no parking lot. However, McGean pointed out that under the current zoning code, the new building would need 50 spaces as a stand-alone site.

McGean explained to the council the library parking lot is connected to the 100th Street municipal lot, with no physical separation, which could act as an advantage or a disadvantage to the library parking lot.

McGean recommended to the council that the library parking lot be completely open from Oct. 16 to April 14 and open to library patrons only from April 15 to Oct. 15. The aim is to keep beach traffic out of the library parking lot during the busy months.

From April 15 to Oct. 15, library patrons will be required to retrieve a two-hour parking pass from the library to place in their cars. This will allow patrons two free hours of parking time and will help identify those who are abusing the use of the parking lot.

All other non-library related vehicles would still be required to use the adjacent municipal lot. If the library lot is full, library patrons will be allowed to park in the municipal lot, free of charge, for two hours. Spill over into the municipal lot will also require a parking pass from the library.

McGean explained that any cars parked at the library after operation hours would be towed from the lot. Any cars parked in the lot during hours of operation but without a parking pass from the library will be ticketed.

The council asked McGean whether he anticipated spillover from both lots. McGean explained that on a sunny day during the busy months, heavy beach traffic could fill the 100th Street lot, but that the library traffic would most likely be decreased. Conversely, on a rainy day, more traffic would be coming to the library and there would be less beach traffic. As a result, McGean said he does not anticipate both lots overflowing.

“I think it sounds like a good compromise,” said Councilwoman Nancy Howard.

The council voted unanimously with Councilman Lloyd Martin absent to support McGean’s recommendation on parking at the new library.