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Ocean Pines Board considers D&R overhaul

Ocean Pines Declaration of Restrictions

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Jan. 10, 2019) Director Frank Daly on Saturday said it’s time to “crap or get off the pot” in terms of meaningful reforms to Ocean Pines’ declarations of restrictions, while others said that’s easier said than done.

The declarations are the legal documents laying out a community’s rules. As they’re currently written, each section of Ocean Pines has its own, unique declarations and none allow the administration to impose fines for violations.

The directors on Saturday discussed recent recommendations from the architectural review committee to do just that.

According to committee liaison Ted Moroney, the chief recommendation was to “strongly recommend a system of fines be established.”

“Any change here has to change the declarations, because they’re different for every section here,” Moroney said. “But, there is no way for us to be able to fine across the board currently and it’s a tool that they are recommending we consider adding.”

He said the committee also recommended adding another full-time staff member to enforce compliance, permit and inspections, or CPI, guidelines.

Daly, in reacting to the recommendations, said he’d spent much time since moving to the community in 2013 sitting in the audience and mulling such changes. He was elected to the board in August.

“I have watched a number of boards spend countless hours talking about menial things, because at the end of the day the root cause is we cannot enforce our declaration of restrictions. I think it’s either time to crap or get off the pot,” he said. “Put it in front of the people – either live with the problem or give us the tools to solve the problem.”

Daly added he was prepared to spend the money to hold a required referendum vote to change the declarations.

Association President Doug Parks said he’d already emailed the Ocean Pines attorney for a cost estimate to do so.

“He said, it depends on how deep you want to go,” Parks said. “Maybe it’s time that we really do have that discussion [and] see where it takes us. I see some benefit in making everything consistent, across all the DRs.”

If that could be accomplished, he said, future boards would not have to worry about things like, “Oh, by the way, this is Section 14. It’s a little bit different than Section 1.”

Director Esther Diller agreed and said the same rules should apply to everyone in the community, but Director Slobodan Trendic said he was unsure that could legally be done.

Resident Joe Reynolds, meanwhile, called the proposed overhauls “an interesting thought, but … a nonstarter.”

“Believe me, you’re going to waste a lot of time, effort and money,” he said. “Every section is independent. If it applied to everybody, every section would have to approve it. You could end up with some sections approving and some not, which creates even more of an … administrative nightmare.

“We have so many things in this community that need attention, I think maybe you oughta put your time into those,” Reynolds added.