Vote Makes ALOC 50-Year Lease Official

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and City Council wrapped up some business this week as they voted to approve a few ordinances that have been in the works for the last month or so, including the final vote to move forward in Ocean City’s new Art League of Ocean City building.

The ordinance on second reading this week has been on the wish list for the Art League of Ocean City (ALOC) for 20 years now and it passed in a vote of 5-2, with Council members Brent Ashley and Margaret Pillas in opposition.

The ordinance authorized the Mayor and City Council to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding and 50-year lease agreement for the construction and rental of a new Ocean City Art Center building at the present site of the building being utilized by ALOC on 94th street. A 50-year lease is standard for the town to approve in a lease agreement with city-owned buildings, as was done with the senior center about 15 years ago.

ALOC Board member Rina Thaler applauded the Mayor and City Council for finally allowing the construction of a new art center.

“This is going to be a gem in the crown of Ocean City,” Thaler said. “It shows a lot of vision on your part just like the decisions you have made on Northside Park and establishing other amenities in the town.”

Another ordinance passed on second reading defined unenclosed outdoor dining and clarifies required parking for outdoor dining areas.

The ordinance lists requirements in an establishment measuring for the required parking space. The ordinance states, “Restaurants, fast food restaurant, cocktail lounge, tavern or nightclub or other establishments for the consumption of food or beverages on or off the premises: One space per 100 square feet of enclosed gross floor area, minimum of five spaces.”

The exemption applies only if a roofed over area remains at least 51% open on all sides with no enclosure of any kind, and a railing system no higher than 42” with open pickets is not to be considered an enclosure. Establishments with non-conforming parking status may only exempt parking for outdoor dining areas equal to the number of parking spaces provided on-site at the rate of one space per 100 square feet of outdoor dining area.

The last ordinance passed on second reading approved the sale of surplus personal property, which is a list of city vehicles and equipment offered for sale on the auction site.

The final item on the list was approval of the Ocean City Development Corporation’s request for $425,000 for revitalization projects. OCDC projects include Façade Improvement Program for buildings between the Inlet and 17th Streets in the designated Community Legacy Area, Green Building Initiatives Program and Land Development Program.