Jul 28, 2014

Alley Ordinance Approvals Pave Way for Duplex Project on 31st and Central

The city claimed one existing alley and vacated rights to a separate "paper street."

Alley Ordinance Approvals Pave Way for Duplex Project on 31st and Central
Ocean City Council took a pair of steps that pave the way for the installation of four duplexes along Central Avenue last week.

City Council voted to vacate rights to a non-existent alley and take over rights to an alley that already exists at its meeting Thursday night at the library.

In July, the Planning Board approved a subdivision plan that would allow the duplexes to replace two three-story buildings at 31st Street and Central Avenue.

The buildings were owned by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, and used by the Ocean Rest Educational Center as a place of worship and an educational retreat.

The buildings currently in place will be demolished and replaced by the four duplexes, which would each have 45-foot lots.

The Christian Brothers claimed ownership of an unnamed, unimproved 15-foot wide alley that runs from 31st Street to an existing alley leading to 30th Street.

The alley has stood as a "paper street" for over 100 years.

The city also claimed a 20-foot wide existing de facto alley to be made available for public use as a right of way.

There would be no alley between the subdivisions.

The Christian Brothers initially wanted to demolish one building and replace it with residential development. The group would’ve used the proceeds to renovate the other building, which doesn’t conform to current fire code and Disabilities Act laws, lacks heating and air conditioning, and was partially prohibited from use by the State Fire Marshal.

The group realized that project would be too costly, and elected instead to replace both buildings with residential housing.

Second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 27.

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