Ocean City Today

Comprehensive Plan nearing final passage

By Greg Ellison | Feb 22, 2018

(Feb. 23, 2018) Developing a blueprint for future land use in Ocean City is the intent of a 2017 Comprehensive Plan Amendment, which the City Council approved on first reading during its meeting on Tuesday.

Planning Director Bill Neville said the “working” document would provide guidance for future priorities identified by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“The idea is not to have this be another document that sits on the shelf,” he said.

Included among the planning commission’s list of priorities are short-term rentals, floodplain regulations, workforce-housing standards, parking studies and examining infill guidelines.

“Specific changes in policy are not being recommended as part of Comprehensive Plan,” he said.

The current plan was drafted in 2006 and last updated in 2009, with the current review intended to comply with state requirements. The update incorporates 2010 census data and next takes place in 2022, after 2020 census data becomes available.

The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on Sept. 19 and kept the record open for addition comments until Oct. 17, before approving the plan update on Dec. 2. Prior to final approval, the council voted in late-January to schedule a public hearing.

Neville also stressed future proposals stemming from the planning commission’s work plan would follow established procedures to allow public participation.

“When we’re promoting idea of a work plan it still would include normal public hearings,” he said. “It’s not a big change from what has worked well in the past, but it does show steady progress.”

Second reading and potential final passage are scheduled for the council meeting on March 5.

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