On Jan. 25 there will be a vote on an ordinance that could diminish the value of your home by removing height restrictions on hedges. Many homeowners and real estate agents are upset about this.
Recently, our next-door neighbors installed a 6-foot privacy fence without our permission. (Citywide, fences are limited to 4 feet and can be up to 6 feet with permission of the adjacent neighbor.) When ordered by the city to remove the fence, they planted a tall hedge to block us out.
This 15-foot hedge, which the owners refuse to remediate, shades our home and restricts our view. Under this ordinance, your million-dollar views of the water could also be blocked by tall hedges.
The city solicitor, Dorothy McCrosson, claimed nonconforming hedges are a citywide problem, but admitted they only receive six complaints a year. We confirmed there are a handful of nonconforming hedges, including three 20-foot solid hedges around the mayor’s house.
The city should focus on homeowners who refuse to obey current ordinances, instead of rewarding bad behavior by dropping height restrictions. If residents speed down Asbury Avenue at 75 mph, should the city react by dropping all speed limits?
Should this ordinance pass, Ocean City will become the only Jersey Shore town to have no height restriction on hedges. Do we really want to have this distinction of the city not protecting property values?
Call City Council to express your concerns with this ordinance and speak at the City Council meeting on Jan. 25.