Council Poised To Talk Skateboarding

OCEAN CITY – At least a couple members of the Mayor and City Council are anxious to further discuss the town’s current skateboarding laws.

A few weeks ago, a brief ban took place on the use of body boards in the ocean but that was quickly lifted when city officials realized the town code was formed in 1972 and a simple fix would be to modernize the language within the law.

The Mayor and City Council voted to change the law and the definition of “boogie” board was replaced with a “soft top body board”, which is now described as a flexible semi-soft, buoyant, semi-curved object, no longer than 54 inches long, no wider than two feet, not thicker than four inches.

Jenny Carven, co-owner of Ish Boutique, jumped on the opportunity and pointed out to the council that the town has other regulations related to extracurricular activities that also need to be changed to keep up with modern day society, in particular the limitations in surfing locations and skateboarding being illegal in Ocean City.

Skateboarding in Ocean City is refined to one area within town limits, the skateboard park at 3rd Street and St. Louis Ave. Skateboarding is not permitted on the Boardwalk, public streets, alleys, sidewalks and public lots.

At the conclusion of this week’s meeting, Councilwoman Mary Knight brought up the recent buzz over skateboards and allowing longboards for transportation. She asked City Manager David Recor and Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, who was not present; to come up with a recommendation in making a change to the current law that bans skateboards from the city’s streets.

“I spoke to the chief yesterday on this topic,” Councilman Doug Cymek said. “She would like us to maybe convene in the fall, and talk this through thoroughly because there may be some streets that may be more acceptable than others.”

Councilman Joe Hall saw no reason to wait until the fall and said the only area he thought skateboards should not be allowed is on the Boardwalk. He suggested Recor gather the same group of experts as he did on the body board issue to receive a recommendation in moving forward as far as certain designs and measurements of different skateboards.

“As long as the boards can’t kick, they are not the trick boards, than there is not a street they shouldn’t be on,” he said.

To resolve the body board issue, Recor and Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin gathered several different surf shop owners and employees in the area to be educated on the current dimensions and uses of body boards.

“They are the ones that sell the boards and I think they are the ones that have the best knowledge about them and how they can be used,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.