By Greg Ellison
(April 15, 2021) On Wednesday evening the Ocean Pines Board abruptly canceled a town hall meeting regarding proposed short-term rental guidelines slated for Saturday.
In a related statement, President Larry Perrone attributed the change in plans to ongoing discussions on the matter.
“Frank Daly is withdrawing his motions after consultation with all the stakeholders,” he said.
Perrone said the initiative was being spearheaded by Board member Daly.
“Frank will continue to work on the guidelines and will propose amending our documents, section by section,” he said.
Perrone said the intent is to provide the community additional time to consider the proposal.
The issue was the subject of extensive community discussion during the board meeting on March 20 at which point Daly said the rental initiative was launched nearly two years ago because of problems with a few Pines properties that were rented through online platforms such as Airbnb or VRBO.
The proposed rules would require Ocean Pines property owners marketing short-term rentals to obtain a Worcester County rental permit and an OPA permit and to display a sticker at eye level on the front door.
The rental rules would also require a responsible party associated with the rental to live within a 30-minute drive. Additionally, bed-and-breakfast establishments would be prohibited.
The annual permitting procedure would also require hiring licensed Maryland home inspectors to confirm that safety requirements such as adequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and functioning fire extinguishers are met.
An annual property inspection would ascertain the maximum number of occupants a dwelling could accommodate and assure that the name and contact information of a responsible party is on record.
Violations could result in tenants being asked to vacate the property immediately.