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Marine Advisory Committee updates OPA board


OCEAN PINES— The Oct. 26 meeting of the Ocean Pines Association Board of directors opened with the return of the original contracts of sales of the 26 homes, farms and marshlands that ultimately became Ocean Pines.

In all, the properties sold for roughly $4 million, Reese F. Cropper Jr., chairman of the board of directors of Calvin B. Taylor Bank, said. The most expensive parcel sold for $1.5 million and the least expensive, for $2,500, he said.

Based on a brief history of how Taylor Bank came to hold the documents, the Chicago-based parent company of local developer Maryland Marine Properties had raised local suspicions on the soundness of the checks.

The document said Cropper’s father, Reese F. Cropper Sr., President of Taylor Bank at the time, held the deeds “until the various checks cleared the bank they were written on. Only then did he release the signed deeds for recording.”

In the meantime Cropper Sr. had served as escrow agent for the transactions.

 “We’re proud to be able to return these documents and bring them home,” Cropper said, presenting the documents to the board.

Also at the meeting, the board agreed to consider a request by Marine Advisory Committee Chair Frank Watkins that OPA waterfront property owners be allowed to construct temporary storm bulkheads to help mitigate potential damage from forecasted major storms.

The proposed barriers could be erected three days in advance of a “qualified storm,” as designated on the Ocean Pines website, at the discretion of individual property owners. It would be understood that the barriers could not protect against tidal surges.

Marine Committee said the temporary barriers could provide several advantages to the community’s existing bulkheads. An OP-approved design of the temporary barriers could be easily erected by a homeowner as needed; the lumber would not require storage; the barriers would provide a 2-foot deck area behind the permanent bulkhead; and they should be strong enough to withstand a very strong wave action.

The temporary bulkhead would not be connected to the permanent bulkheads owned by the OPA, Watkins said.

He said the committee would not seek an inspection process to ensure that the barriers were removed three days after a storm had passed, but the committee would agree to a warning or citation policy for property owners who kept temporary barriers in place for long periods of time.

Several members urged the board to reconsider size dimensions in a proposal from the Architectural Review Committee to amend rules for signs.

Walter Boge of the OP Angler’s Club told the board the proposed 2-by-2-foot sign limit was too small and would render the 2-by-3-foot sign, which the club has used for its Kids’ Fishing Contest and Teach a Kid to Fish events, out of compliance. He asked the board to consider granting some leeway for the sign the club has used for years, which he said would be easier for motorists to read.

Carolyn Driscoll, president-elect of the Kiwanis also asked the board to consider granting more flexibility on the sign requirement. She said the Kiwanis would like to model their signs on the sign used by the Anglers Club.

As an aside, the board discussed yard sale signs, which members said were proliferating and varying in degree of acceptability. OPA President Tom Terry suggested creating a standard sign that homeowners could use to direct yard sale shoppers without looking unsightly.

The board approved four advisory committee appointments proposed by Terry. They were the first-term appointments of Robert Carpenter to the Aquatics Committee, James Spata to the Environmental and Natural Assets Committee, and Ray Unger to Recreation and Parks; and the second-term appointment of John McNult to the Tennis Committee.

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