(Oct. 4, 2019) The Worcester County Commissioners on Tuesday finalized an off-season occupancy enforcement plan for the White Horse Park campground subdivision.
The plans comes following the commissioners’ rejection last month of a zoning change sought by a group of property owners that would have lifted the seasonal occupancy restriction and made legal those owners who have been living in the park year-round for years.
The plan involves sending letters to all owners in White Horse Park, including those who may have violated seasonal occupancy restrictions, as well as renters and the board of directors for White Horse Park association.
Chief Administrative Officer Harold Higgins reported that he had met with the White Horse Park Board of Directors, various county staff members and representatives of the Worcester County Health Department, the Department of Social Services and the Commission on Aging to develop the enforcement plan.
Higgins reiterated that the campground may only be occupied for up to 30 consecutive days between Sept. 30 of each year and April 1 the following year, or an aggregate of 60 days.
The letters to owners and renters state the exact regulations of when and for how long owners and renters may stay in the residence. Starting Oct. 1, occupancy will be monitored through March 31, 2020.
According to the letter, those that violate occupancy regulations will be guilty of a civil infraction and will be issued citations. The first fine will be $100 and will increase everyday up to $1,000 a day.
The letter to the White Horse Park Board of Directors reminds the board members to provide proof of occupancy violation if enforcement is necessary. According to the letter, board members are considering the following enforcement strategies: new gate management software to monitor outgoing and incoming traffic, a security company to inspect occupancy and a revised covenant to allow board members to issue fines to owners in occupancy violation.
Finally, the letter suggests that the board develop a form for every White Horse Park resident to declare exactly which days they will be residing in the subdivision.
Worcester County Commissioner Jim Bunting moved to accept the enforcement plan and Commissioner Ted Elder seconded. Commissioners Joshua Nordstrom and Bud Church both opposed. Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic was absent from the meeting.
Residents seeking housing options are invited to meet with state partners with the Department of Social Services, Health Department and Commission on Aging at the Ocean Pines Library next Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. for consultation and housing assistance. Call Maryland Access Point of Worcester County at 410-632-9915 for an appointment.