Officials Hear More About Edgewater Ave. Project

OCEAN CITY – Issues surrounding the 1111 Edgewater property came before the Mayor and Council for at least the fifth time this week, as the Mayor and Council attempted to review the current status of the property.

The first issue regarding the building arose over a month ago, when property owner Bob Warfield requested a building permit extension to allow more time for the real estate market to readjust. After several discussions and a final agreement to fix up the property, the City Council agreed to grant Warfield a one-year extension on his building permit. Part of the agreement called for Warfield to paint the concrete structures and rebar on the property and to fence in the lot.

Issues surrounding the project took a sharp turn last week when Condo Owners Association for Summer Wind Condominiums President George Mengason came forward to voice several complaints about the neighboring Edgewater property. His list of complaints ran from bulkhead damage to fence damage, maintaining that Warfield had done little to correct what had been wronged on their property.

In an effort to gain a better grasp on the situation, the Mayor and Council called all relevant parties together Tuesday to try to assess the situation.

Mike Richardson, Chief Building Official, reported Tuesday that the bulkhead along the property had been installed according to approved designs by Stacy Hart, P.E., that the fence had not been installed in accordance to what the Mayor and Council had approved, that several pieces of rebar had not yet been painted and that the bulkhead, piers and pilings were all replacement items approved by the Port of Wardens.

City Engineer Terry McGean reported that no berm or retaining wall had been installed along the north edge of the property to prevent run off into the neighboring property, a request that was sent to Warfield via request in May and again in November.

As for the fence, the council originally requested that a fence be placed around the property in an effort to both secure the property and to make it more aesthetically pleasing. As of Tuesday, the fence was not surrounding the property in its entirety, and along the front of the property, the fence was placed not in front of the concrete structures, but rather between them.

“The fence is there, the property is secure, I think it looks pretty good…it’s still a construction site,” said Warfield, adding that he personally had undertaken the task of cleaning up the site. “It’s not a simple case of running a fence across the front like you do in your front yard.”

According to Warfield, the concrete and macadam along the front of the property prevented him from laying a fence there. Instead, he moved the fence back and planted landscaping along the front of the concrete structures.

“I was thinking, when we initially talked, that it would go all the way around…in my estimation, I think it looks worse,” said Councilwoman Nancy Howard.

Warfield pointed out that he was given 30 days to clean up the property and still has another two weeks to do so.

At the council’s request, Warfield agreed to place a retaining wall along the north end of the property to solve the on-going complaints from the neighboring property over water run-off.

Despite reaching an apparent common ground with the Mayor and Council, Warfield still faced dissatisfaction from Mengason, who maintained that problems still needed to be addressed.

“I just don’t see where the Mayor and Council can help you with this bulkhead situation,” said Council President Joe Mitrecic, pointing out that unless the property is in violation of the town code, the issue is a civil matter, not one for the Mayor and Council to regulate.

One compromise was negotiated, however, with Warfield agreeing to replace the fencing that was damaged along the north side of the property with equal or better fencing. Warfield also agreed to acquiesce to the council’s request to have fencing around the property, along the front and down the north and south sides from the street to the bulkhead.

Warfield must also report back to the Mayor and Council in early January to give an update on the property.