Neighbor’s Concerns Aired Over Edgewater Project

OCEAN CITY – Discussion over the 1111 Edgewater property continued this week, however the contention centered not around the request for a building permit extension, but rather on the complaints of neighboring property owners.

George Mengason, president of the Condo Owners Association for Summer Wind Condominiums, came before the Mayor and Council Monday night in what he claimed to be a last effort in resolving an ongoing conflict.

According to Mengason, damages have occurred to the Summer Wind property over the last year and a half, damages that have yet to be fixed by property owner Bob Warfield or construction company Ocean Minded.

“I have continually made efforts to meet with Mr. Warfield’s construction manager, I’ve continually made calls to the city,” he said.

Mengason conceded that while the problems were initially met with understanding from Warfield negotiations have gone sour over the past few months, with no headway being made or response heard from Warfield’s camp.

“We have looked at that mess as late as today and the good neighbor thing is gone,” he said.

The Edgewater property, set to house condos, was granted a 12-month building permit extension last week after Warfield agreed to clean up the property by painting the standing structures and fencing in the property.

“We were told, ‘keep things on a list and we’ll take care of them’,” Mengason said, noting that the list has only grown larger and the damage more significant. Damages noted were bulkhead damage and water run-off onto the Summer Wind property.

“We can’t get involved in every property dispute in town,” said City Solicitor Guy Ayres, pointing out that unless the project is in violation of the city code, the town has no right to intervene.

City Engineer Terry McGean, who has been involved in the mediation between the two sides, agreed that while Mengason’s complaints are warranted, there is no violation of city code.

“I have a problem where I don’t really have a hammer, so to speak,” McGean said, pointing out that due to the permit extension no work is being done on the project.

 A stop work order would usually be the town’s bargaining chip in getting a builder to comply.

Councilwoman Nancy Howard reminded the Mayor and Council that she had addressed Warfield about the issue at last week’s work session, asking him if he had settled the dispute with the Summer Wind neighbors. At that time, Warfield said, “As far as our property is concerned, we’ve pretty much complied with inspection at this point.”

Despite being in compliance with the code, both Mengason and Councilwoman Mary Knight pointed out that the fencing, to be placed around the property as part of the agreement with the Mayor and Council, did not look aesthetically pleasing.

“In my mind, it looks very odd,” Knight said, explaining that rather than surrounding the property, the fence was being laid between each concrete block, connecting them rather than shielding them.

The council agreed to contact Warfield and address the issue at next week’s work session when everyone could gather and evaluate the situation.