Planning Commission Tables Year-Round Occupancy Vote

SNOW HILL –  The Worcester County Planning Commission again tabled a decision regarding a text amendment that would allow limited year-round occupancy at White Horse Park.

At the request of attorney Hugh Cropper, who represents a group of full-time White Horse Park residents, the commission on Wednesday agreed to delay consideration of a text amendment related to campground subdivisions. Cropper said he and his clients were working on revisions to the proposed text amendment to address concerns voiced by county officials.

“I met with my clients yesterday, I met with them last week,” Cropper said. “They’ve come up with a bunch of different options. They’re working hard to come up with something.”

This spring, Cropper presented a text amendment on behalf of 54 White Horse Park residents who are seeking to have the county’s zoning code changed so that up to 25% of the park can be inhabited year-round by residents over the age of 55. They hired Cropper after the county began efforts to enforce the existing restrictions on campground subdivisions. The county has two such developments, White Horse Park and Assateague Pointe, and according to regulations they are not to be inhabited year-round.

Cropper’s clients, however, say that a small percentage of White Horse Park property owners have lived in the community year-round for decades. They don’t understand why the county is just now working to enforce the regulations governing the 465-unit park. They’re hoping a text amendment can be approved that would allow them to continue living in their homes.

Since Cropper initially presented the text amendment, county staff have voiced concerns about the difficulty of enforcing it and said that it could have an impact on park infrastructure. Part-time White Horse Park property owners have also expressed concern, as they’re worried that by legalizing year-round occupancy the park could be facing significantly higher infrastructure costs. County officials have received dozens of emails on both sides of the issue.

At Cropper’s request, the commission is expected to again discuss the text amendment in September.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.