Work Group Finalizing Ocean Pines Short-Term Rental Proposals

OCEAN PINES – The Ocean Pines Association is working to address short-term rental concerns within the community.

An Ocean Pines Association (OPA) work group is currently drafting regulations that would help ensure short-term rentals don’t have negative impacts on their neighbors.

“We found it necessary because of ongoing problems that were occurring with a specific short-term rental property that had been ongoing for several years,” OPA board member Frank Daly said. “We determined that Ocean Pines needed to develop a solution somewhat different from the county legislation governing short- term rentals based on the experience with that property and property owner.”

Daly, a member of the work group tackling the short-term rental issue, said it had been a focus of the association for the past year. The work group has met with police and fire officials as well as attorneys and Worcester County’s zoning officials. As a result of those discussions, the group has drafted additions to OPA’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) guidelines.

“This document still needs to go through final reviews and votes by the ARC Committee, the OP Board and our attorneys, so it may change a bit between today and finalization,” Daly said.

As proposed, the guidelines for short-term rentals in Ocean Pines mandate that residences rented for 29 days or less must get a rental permit from the county as well as from Ocean Pines. OPA’s Compliance, Permits and Inspection Department will be tasked with inspecting short-term rental properties and ensuring they meet certain safety requirements. Under the guidelines, if occupancy exceeds what’s permitted, the Pines rental permit shall be withdrawn.

As proposed, the guidelines allow four occupants if the finished area of a single-family dwelling is up to 1,200 square feet. Occupancy increases as size increases. For a home between 4,501 to 5,000 square feet, 10 occupants would be permitted.

Daly stressed that the guidelines were still being reviewed. The changes have been provided to the board as well as the ARC committee. OPA’s attorney will review them again and then they’ll be voted on by the ARC and later the OPA board of directors.