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Post-Sandy Q&A Session Set for Saturday — Live Updates on Patch

The Ocean City Community Association will sponsor a post-Sandy Q&A session on Jan. 26 for all inquiries from property owners.

Editor's update: Ocean City Patch will provide live updates from the Jan. 26 post-Sandy Q&A for Ocean City property owners who cannot attend the event. Look for the discussion board that will be posted as the main story on Ocean City Patch on Saturday morning.

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Two-and-a-half months after Superstorm Sandy, Ocean City residents and property owners have many more questions than answers as to the restoration or reconstruction of their properties.  Questions include:

  • How long will the city continue providing dumpsters and storm-related curbside waste collection?
  • When will recycling return to previous separation requirements?
  • What evidence of decontamination will be required by rental agencies and/or the city from rental property owners?
  • What restoration work requires licensed contractors and/or permits from the city?
  • By when must an insurance claim be filed, and how is the payout calculated? 
  • What are the effects of the city’s latest "base flood elevation" ordinance?
  • How will our property taxes be affected by the costs associated with the storm?

These questions will be discussed by a panel consisting of city officials, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives, insurance agents and real estate industry experts 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan 26, at the Ocean City Free Public Library.

Ocean City residents and property owners are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion. 

Slated to participate:

  • Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian
  • Ocean City Business Administrator Michael Dattilo
  • Ocean City Finance Director Frank Donato
  • FEMA subject matter experts
  • President of the Ocean City Board of Realtors Kevin Redmond
  • Representatives of the McMahon and Heist insurance agencies

For more information, call Curt Gronert at 610-533-8150.

— News release from the Ocean City Community Association

Sam January 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM
May I add to the list of questions..Will the city be assisting residents with compliance? How will they decide who will get the grant money and how can we afford to elevate if we don't know that #?
Kevin Rodgers January 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM
May I suggest to video record this meeting and post it so that folks who cannot attend could benefit? I'm sure there are many retirees for example who are in warmer climates for the winter and can't make it.
Alan Richter January 19, 2013 at 01:15 PM
I second Kevin's request. Or even better yet, stream it live over the internet as well as record for later. This would help second home owners keep informed.
Kevin Poirier January 19, 2013 at 10:12 PM
live streaming and VOD would be great!
Linda January 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Here here Kevin. I was about to post the same question.
Linda January 19, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Live stream and post! That would make tax paying citizens, whom full time residents seems to resent, feel valued.
Trish Mandes January 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Will Ocean City, NJ be ready got tourists this summer? Can somebody please post current photos of the boardwalk and streets near the beach? Trish from VA
anonymous January 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM
This really needs to be videotape broadcast!
Alan Richter January 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Trish, My family and I have been down numerous times since the storm. Look at pictures you've taken of the boardwalk from you last visit and that is what you will see when you come down this year. The streets have been cleared and the only issue with the boardwalk is that some of the ramps need to be rebuilt. I assume that will be done by summer. The beach is scheduled to be replenished this spring, so the beach should be great this summer. Most of the stores are open on Asbury and most of the ones that are not are using the flood as an excuse to remodel. The only concern I've heard raised is will there be enough rental units back in service. That I cannot comment on because most of the affected homes look fine on the outside, but have significant damage inside. All in all, the answer is Ocean City will be (and is already) open for business.
DSA January 20, 2013 at 11:19 PM
The north end will be replenished. The south end has no dunes from 50th south and the beach replenishment is hopeful but not definite that I know of. I hope I'm wrong about the south end though.
Eric Sauder January 21, 2013 at 05:58 AM
I just wonder how long rebuilt dunes will last if they don't do beach replenishment on the south end too.
wjs January 21, 2013 at 06:07 PM
DSA and Eric- you are correct about the "deep southend". 50-59 no dunes and very little beach in most areas. without beach replenishment, rebuilding dunes here will be futile at best.
DSA January 21, 2013 at 08:32 PM
I know there are hopes that this will be extended as part of the present work going on and with funding from the Sandy package. It was previously an approved project but without funding. I hope the city doesnt their backs on us.
Terese Ginocchetti January 23, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Can anyone tell me how the Harris House faired? I haven't been able to find out anything. Any info or pics would be greatly appreciated.
Eric Sauder January 26, 2013 at 06:51 AM
There is hope. Some of the federal money approporiatied for Sandy is going to the Army Coprs of Engineers for beach replenishment. I don't believe there are any participatory requirments either (state or local). So what we need from our elected officials is for them to request additional beach replenishment from the Army Corps for OC. If all goes well that could mean beach replenishment for the South end.
Common Sense January 26, 2013 at 11:58 AM
The AFBE maps defy common sense. Ocean front homes are not in velocity zones, but any home on or near the bay or a lagoon is . The lowest flood levels are ocean fronts. The highest levels are on or near the bay/lagoons. Homes on or near the bay/ lagoons must be built 5 to 7 feet higher than ocean fronts and must do so immediately or lose flood insure because they are in a V zone. These maps were done in a panic and are in need of huge revisions.
Mark Asher January 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Just one clarification to the comment above. The ocean front properties (in all towns) are typically the highest. Ie grade may elevation 10 or higher. While grade in the bay areas may be as low as elevation 5. The islands slope ocean to bay, hence the more radical ht adjustment along the bay. There is much to like and dislike on the maps, but but there is some sense to it. Hope that helps.
Common Sense January 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Mark. It is my understanding the elevation levels are not from grade but from sea level. If that is not the case could you please explain where these levels are measured from.
BLDShamrock January 26, 2013 at 02:04 PM
May I ask, how long should we expect to wait for any reply from the insurance companies as to whether our claim was in fact denied as the adjuster led us to believe 10 weeks ago? Is it true that since we have insurance, even if we are denied we can't get help from FEMA ? My home is elevated, is my primary residence and thankfully I had no water in my "living space" but that is why the insurance co is saying we are NOT covered. We had to rip out walls, etc and now some of our pipes are freezing but no financial assistance at all. We had the same "black water" as Pecks Beach Village but insurance company doesn't care.....
Mark Asher January 26, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Yes the elevations are measured from sea level. I just meant to point out the the bay areas, being lower, are more prone to flooding. This is often counterintuitive as the ocean front seems as if it would be more vulnerable. So the maps respond accordingly. And yes it's confusing.
Common Sense January 26, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Mark, thank you for the response. I'm still confused. The first floor of an ocean front home would be 11 feet above sea level (9 feet zone A plus 2 feet OC ordinance). On or near the bay the same home would need to be 16 feet above sea level (11 feet zone V plus 3 feet structural clearance plus 2 feet OC ordinance)?
Mark Asher January 26, 2013 at 08:38 PM
Yes and no. The OC+2 is a zoning derived number. This of course is a newly minted ordinance and a long overdue change. Albeit the timing, on the heels of Sandy, is an unfortunate coincidence. Heretofore the zoning code and the building code were speaking different languages. (The zoning code was measuring ht from centerline of road, while bldg codes measured from the more universal bfe). My point is that the OC+2 may be redundant against the new higher bfe numbers. Which brings us to the thorniest issue of all. The state may issue new bfe numbers by fiat whereas any adjustment to a local zoning ordinance (in all towns not just OC) is a much more cumbersome procedure. Sorry for the confusion, but there are many moving parts to this. Don't panic.
Eric Sauder January 27, 2013 at 06:21 AM
I'm confused. How does measuring building height from 4 points on a lot conform anymore to BFE than measuring building height from the centerline of the street? Yet that is another provision of the BF + 2 ordinance. Obviously you can now increase elevation by adding fill whereas with the centerline of the street elevation was more or less fixed. Is using feet of fill to elevate homes something we really want to do? There was SO MUCH MORE to this ordinance than elevation, and if you were listening carefully at the last council meeting, one council member stated, in fairly clear terms, exactly what that is. Increasing the "building envelope".

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