Ocean Pines Mulls Food, Beverage Change

OCEAN PINES – The association’s board is considering the implementation of food and beverage amenity rules following a review of governing documents and an incident that occurred at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club in May.

Last week, members of the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors had before them proposed rules and regulations pertaining to conduct at the Beach Club, Clubhouse Bar and Grill, and Yacht Club. President Colette Horn, who presented the document for a first reading, said the rules, if approved, would be included in the association’s book of amenity rules maintained in the general manager’s office.

“A recent review of Resolution M-02 revealed that Section 14(a) stipulates that the GM shall establish rules for participation in our amenity facilities …,” she said. “The recent incident at our Yacht Club and the review of Resolution M-02 revealed the absence of rules adopted by OPA for our food and beverage facilities.”

She continued, “This motion is meant to secure board adoption of the attached rules and authorization for them to be included in the book of amenity rules maintained in the GM’s office and enforced per Resolution M-02, Section 12(e) and (f).”

Horn noted that a recent incident at the Yacht Club prompted a review of the association’s governing documents.

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Last month, the board voted to ban former board member Tom Janasek from food and beverage amenities for a total of 90 days following an altercation that occurred at the Yacht Club on May 20. While at the Yacht Club Tiki Bar, Janasek reportedly launched into a verbal tirade and yelled at Director Josette Wheatley over Wheatley’s vote to elect the next association president.

Janasek was ultimately escorted from the property, and Wheatley has since obtained a peace order preventing Janasek from contacting her for a period of six months. Janasek has also filed suit against the board seeking relief against the 90-day ban.

But board members last week said the proposed rules and regulations would give the association a guideline for handling future incidents at food and beverage amenities.

“I agree with all of this,” Director Doug Parks said. “I think it’s important that we frame, in a more detailed manner, what we should be doing.”

Simply put, the rules and regulations presented last week outline examples of inappropriate conduct and the punishment – including removal and suspension – for breaking those rules of conduct.

Parks, however, argued that the proposed document did not explain who would decide the punishment or the length of suspension.

“I think it’s far too vague,” he said. “Remember, we are creating a rule here that’s going to be maintained over many, many years. So the idea of having some subjective term dictate the length of suspension to me is not the best way … I think we should make it far more detailed.”

Director Amy Peck said the severity of each incident should also be considered.

“I think there has to be some discussion on the severity of the offense,” she said. “It could be a first offense, but it is so severe that it warrants a lifetime ban.”

Horn said she liked the idea of defining severity and length of suspension. Board members then went back and forth discussing the length of suspension for each offense and the grounds for a permanent ban.

Parks added that new state legislation establishing procedures for disputes between an association’s board of directors and alleged violators would also have an impact on the proposed rules and regulations.

“There’s going to be an appeal process, I think we have to be aware of …,” he said. “We can’t lose sight of the fact that that law will go into effect on Oct. 1.”

After further discussion, the board voted unanimously to table the first reading.

“It sounds like we need to change some wording here and perhaps get some input from our HOA attorney,” Horn said.

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.