Jul 29, 2014

Environmental Commission Provides Update on Open Space Survey

The survey conducted between October and January received 307 responses.

Environmental Commission Provides Update on Open Space Survey
A plan for how to proceed with open space acquisition and usage is set to go before the Planning Board this summer after the completion of a survey that collected opinions from Ocean City residents on the subject, Ocean City Environmental Commission Pete Ault told city council at its meeting Thursday night at city hall.

The commission obtained a grant in August of 2012, and conducted a public input survey from October through January. It also held three public meetings and collected input from individuals and organizations.

The commission received 307 responses, with a majority agreeing Ocean City didn’t have enough open space. Respondents identified bike paths as the top area of need, followed by walking and hiking trails, conservation areas, access to waterways, picnic areas and year-round recreation as the top areas of need.

They cited the city’s beaches, bay, community center, fields playgrounds and fishing areas as its strengths, while labeling overdevelopment , bike path safety, bay access, parking and lack of wildlife or natural open space among its biggest challenges.

“The responses show we’ve made strides on the bike paths, but we still have a way to go,” Ault said during his presentation.

The next step is to formalize an open space and recreation plan by the end of May and share it with community organizations. The commission will then present the plan to the Planning Board and identify open space projects the city could engage in with use of a grant.

Thursday night’s report will be posted on the city’s website. Residents can view past reports by clicking here. 

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