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Five Things to Know About City Council's Thursday Agenda

Storm costs, waived permit fees, vacant Wawa and Peter Lumber properties and a police boat are among agenda items.

City Council meets again at the Ocean City Free Public Library at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 29) as flood repairs continue at City Hall.

Council has a full agenda (see attached PDF for supporting documents) and will consider an ordinance raising the required first-floor elevation of new Ocean City homes and a resolution asking for more sand for the south end of the island. But here are five other agenda items that might be of interest.

  • City Council will vote on the first reading of an ordinance that would waive fees for zoning and construction permits and inspections for repairs and rebuilding related to the Oct. 29 Superstorm Sandy. The temporary waiving of fees would be in effect through May 24, 2013.
  • City Council will vote on the second and potentially final readings of two ordinances that were approved by City Council on Oct. 23 to rezone parts of Ocean City. The ordinances cover many areas but include a rezoning of a vacant Wawa property at Fourth Street and West Avenue to allow a mix of residential and commercial use, and a rezoning of the vacant Peter Lumber Company property on the 1500 block of Haven Avenue to allow single-family homes.
  • City Council will vote on the first reading of an ordinance intended to expand permitted uses in the Drive-In Business (DB) Zone centered on West Avenue on either side of Ninth Street. Former Councilman John Flood had pointed out at a Planning Board meeting in the fall that the wording of the ordinance appears to make existing businesses in the zone nonconforming, and Planning Planning Board member Gary Jessel later moved to add lumber yards, supermarkets, auto dealers and car washes to the list of principal uses in the redefined DB Zone. But the wording of the new ordinance included in the agenda packet does not appear to include that new language.
  • City Council will vote on a series of resolutions related to emergency spending for storm cleanup after Superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 29. Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said at the last City Council meeting that the city administration may have a better idea of total storm costs by this meeting. The resolutions include one to spend $59,000 to restore documents and blueprints flooded on the first floor of City Hall.
  • City Council will vote to spend $86,000 in federal Homeland Security money to buy a Zodiac boat for Ocean City Police Department patrols. It will also advertise for bids for the city to acquire new military cargo trucks to replace the ones that plied the deep floodwaters during Sandy.
Duffer November 28, 2012 at 08:48 PM
How short our memories are in this city. Did everyone forget the last police boat our city had???? It sat wasting away for years at the Bayside Center. I saw it not too long ago stripped over at Buds Outboards. Total waste of money.
George November 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Boat cost, maintenance cost, head counts cost, fuel costs. boats are not cheap, I know that all to well. so if it's catagorized for homeland security purposes, does that mean it can stop boats and jet skiis for routine inspections? or is that still the job of the state marine police and if so, what does this position description look like for homeland security. Hopefully more rational then the homeland security fence put up on the GSP bridge only to be taken down again. I think this issue needs to be well thought through. I am a huge advocate for boater safety in the back bays and the shorline region. If that is what this vessel and crew are going to be charged with, lets call a spade a spade, or if it's truely homeland security and an attemtp to spend the budget or loose it, lets make certain that there are accountible metrics of survalence, reporting, warnings to local communities and more importantly, communications to the boating community as to the purpose and scope of this boat and crews responsibility.
Eric Sauder November 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Good catch Doug regarding the uses (conditional and permitted) in the DB zone. Making a commercial business a non-conforming use is a first step to putting them out of business. The next step will be to say "there's no demand for commercial" and "we might as well rezone those properties for residential development."

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