Ocean City Eyes Route 90 Property Transfer

OCEAN CITY – Officials in Ocean City this week approved on first reading an ordinance that would convey city-owned property along Route 90 back to the state.

In a meeting of the Mayor and Council Monday, officials unanimously agreed to the first reading of an ordinance that would transfer a four-acre lot along Route 90 to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA).

Public Works Director Hal Adkins said the city acquired the property from the state agency in September of 1975.

“It was a result of the development of the Route 90 corridor when they had done multiple land acquisitions to create the corridor prior to construction,” he said. “Upon completion of construction, there were residual portions left over. One in fact was deeded to the Mayor and City Council.”

In a public hearing on the proposed ordinance, resident and former council person Vince Gisriel questioned potential uses for the property. He asked Adkins if the property could permanently house the city’s impound lot, which is temporarily stationed at the town’s Public Works campus on 65th Street.

“Would the State Highway be willing to convey part of that for that (impound lot) if you can’t find a suitable location for that on the island?” he said.

Adkins said a permanent location for the impound lot is currently being discussed.

“The impound lot has currently been relocated on an interim basis to the north side of 66th Street where the water tower used to reside and we are looking at some other options for a permanent location, but they need to be discussed with the police commission in the coming few months first,” he said.

Adkins added that the wooded property was located along the shoulder of Route 90 to the west of the Route 589 intersection and would not be a suitable location for the town’s impound lot.

“It would not be a compatible location,” he said. “Prior to making the recommendation to the Mayor and City Council to transfer property back to the state, I reached out to both State Highway and to the planning department down in Snow Hill to determine if there was any beneficial use to the property and their answer was no.”

Adkins said it was his understanding that the parcel would eventually be used for the future dualization of Route 90, “if that day ever comes about.”

The council voted 6-0, with Council President Lloyd Martin absent, to approve the ordinance on first reading.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.