City Hall - Ocean City

Ocean City, Maryland: City Hall

The Ocean City Mayor and City Council met on Monday for a regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall and approved two pieces of legislation targeting flood prevention, and accepted dates for a beach volleyball tournament in 2022.

Flood legislation

Two pieces of legislation passed by the council are intended to prevent property damage in downtown Ocean City, while also protecting the citywide community flood insurance rating.

The first approved ordinance changes the minimum distance the first floor of a structure is from the ground, or freeboard, to one foot.

The one-foot requirement will only be imposed on new construction in the downtown portion of the resort, or when significant modifications are made to a structure.

Some of the downtown areas are prone to severe flooding when high tides and strong winds push water up the drainage system and into the streets and properties.

Along with the one-foot freeboard requirement, the council modified where the height of properties is measured from because the freeboard height reduces the elevation of a structure.

Now, height will be measured from the top of the freeboard, or the base of the first floor.

Council members adopted the legislation with a 7-0 vote.

Beach volleyball tournament

Gianna Savarese of We Build You Play was granted approval to hold the Beach Volleyball Tournament series in Ocean City next summer, over the course of several months.

Savarese submitted the application for the adult and junior beach volleyball tournament series, requiring 20 rectangular volleyball courts, between First and Third streets.

The tentative dates for the tournaments are May 21-22, June 11-12, June 30, and Sept. 10-11.

As part of the application, Savarese asked in separate emails that the city provide water, electric, and vehicular access to the beach as well as two free parking spaces at the inlet lot for 11 days – May 20-22, June 10-12, June 29-30, and Sept. 9-11.

The cost to park two cars at the inlet lot at $3.50 per hour, for 12 hours per day, totals $105 per day, or $1,155 for all 11 days.

Ocean City has hosted the tournament since 2016, but this year the parking request raised a flag that needed to be reviewed by council.

After a brief discussion, council agreed to proceed with the application’s approval, though the parking would not be in the inlet lot. Instead, council suggested it be on the street or in a municipal lot, like the one on Worcester Street.

Councilman Tony DeLuca also raised concerns about the June 11-12 dates because the resort will already be congested that weekend with the air show and a beach soccer tournament. He asked the applicant to reconsider the dates.

Council voted 7-0 in favor of the application, with the two caveats.

With its approval, the applicant is expected to pay Ocean City $975 in private event fees.

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on Dec. 24, 2021.

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