OCEAN CITY – The City Council approved the replacement of the Amber Waves Condominium deck this week, despite its obstruction of a town alleyway.
William Bunt, president of the Amber Waves Condominium Association, located between 39th and 40th streets, pitched the request to the council this week, explaining that while the deck does obstruct the alley, it has been doing so for the past 23 years.
“That deck has been there since 1984,” Bunt said this week.
The deck, which lies adjacent to the swimming pool on the west end of the building, obstructs an un-constructed alleyway that is property of the town.
“There is no way that you can use that alley for a variety of reasons,” Bunt said.
According to Bunt, the association voted last year to replace the deck due to safety concerns. Since then, the deck has been removed. After removing the deck, the association learned that its permit for replacement had been denied.
“I am not aware from my personal experience, or from talking to our former condominium president of 20 years, of our association ever having received any communication from the Town of Ocean City with regard to the location of our deck or obstructing the un-constructed alley, said Bunt. “We’re not changing the size, we’re not changing the location.”
Bunt argued that the loss of the deck could impact the residents of the condominium, particularly owners who rent out their units.
“I think if we don’t do this it’s going to affect the economic viability of our building,” said Bunt.
Bunt suggested that, if the council did not wish to obstruct the alley that their association be allowed to purchase the 512 square feet of alley from the town.
“I would prefer not to sell that alley,” said Councilman Jim Hall, making a motion to approve the request and allow for the replacement of the deck.
Hall went further to add a caveat that would require the removal of the deck if the alley were ever to be finished and opened by the town.
The council voted 5-1, with Council President Joe Mitrecic in opposition, to approve the request.
“I have never voted for the closing up or selling of any alleys in Ocean City,” Mitrecic said.