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Municipal Budget Ready for Introduction Thursday Night

Zoning and land development alterations will also be considered.

The 2014 municipal budget is ready for introduction.

Ocean City Council will consider a resolution to introduce the budget when it meets Thursday night at the library, 7:30 p.m.

At the March 13 council meeting, Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato stated he was gathering data on final budget requests from council members. He expects to be able to have the public hearing and adopt the budget at the second council meeting in April.

The proposed $72 million budget includes a 2.89 percent increase, which translates to a proposed $44.9 million increase for taxpayers.

Council will also consider amendments and supplements to zoning and land development as it relates to the city’s minor site plan.

Specific alterations deal with definitions pertaining to homes, and follow a discussion at the Feb. 13 council meeting in which members of council discussed height regulations for city homes.

Council members expressed concerns that homes were becoming too high, and council amended the ordinance to read allow for attics to reach no more than six feet from the main roof eave to the roof peak.

Part of the discussion included a concern that residents could convert attic space into a living area.

Alterations include the definition of an attic to mean the unfinished, non-inhabitable space between the ceiling beams on the top story of a home and the roof rafters, accessible only by pull-down stairs, according to the agenda packet. 

A single family home is defined as a detached building with an internal set of stairs connecting all floors and occupied exclusively by one or more people living as a single non-profit unit.

It specifies that an attic is not a story, and a storage area is not to be inhabited by a living person.

As part of the consent agenda, council is expected to pass resolutions to install a track surface at Carey Field, home of the high school’s football team and the Nor’easter men’s soccer team; to award a contract for the Merion Park Drainage Improvement Program; and to authorize a change order to the contract for restoration and improvements to city hall.

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