FIT tackles master plan

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OCEAN CITY -- At a Friday, Feb. 3 Fairness in Taxes meeting, members discussed the city’s master plan.

Fred Hoffman said he has been “listening with some interest” to the discussion concerning the most recent revision to the document guiding development in Ocean City.

 

“Unless we have in Ocean City a disaster and everything goes flat, we’re stuck with very large buildings,” Hoffman said, adding that Councilman Roy Wagner has been a champion of light and space for residents for years.

Hoffman said he hoped the planners take into account the toll it takes on year-round residents to accommodate an influx of summer visitors

“There are human costs,” he said. “I understand money is important, but people are more important.”

Resident Jim Tweed said he noticed that an old master plan called for more single family development. He said he hoped planners considered sunlight and adequate parking, the “quality of life” and human dimensions involved in good planning. He asked if there could be a minimum lot size to build a duplex.

Former zoning board chairman John Quinn said a minimum lot size could be set. If a duplex were built on an undersized lot, it would be “grandfathered in,” but could not be rebuilt.

“Obsolescence,” Quinn said, would eventually occur because the duplex would not be a conforming use. “On the other side, the argument is that people bought the property thinking they had a duplex.”

“We are taught that a city is only as healthy as its business district and it’s population,” Hoffman said. “Ocean City is ill.”

Still, most agreed that Ocean City was “a great place to live.”

FIT President Michael Hinchman said the problem was that “zoning was a mish-mash.”

FIT member Pete Guinosso, who serves on the planning board, said people should not give up even if they are frustrated.

“Keep talking,” he said. “Public input is so important. If you have an idea – and you all have ideas – up. I implore everyone to come out and speak your mind.”


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