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Mayor Jay Gillian: More New Singles Than Duplexes

first_imgNew single family homes at the former site of Peter Lumber Company on the 1500 block of Haven Avenue.The following is Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian’s weekly update to citizens posted on Friday, May 8. Dear Friends:Earlier this week, the administration presented information at the Chamber of Commerce Board of Director’s Meeting regarding construction figures. This presentation was intended to present facts and correct misinformation being publicly disseminated by a group of residents. I would like to share with you some key points.In my budget message to City Council in February, I reported a continuing trend of a greater number of single family homes being constructed compared to duplexes. During the period of 2010 through the first quarter of this year, 357 single family homes have been constructed compared to 289 duplexes.  The trend toward singles has increased recently.  In 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, 65 percent of new construction has been single family homes compared to 35 percent duplexes.We are fortunate to have a variety of housing to choose from.  Another piece of misinformation being circulated and reported in the media is that no one lives in one unit of a duplex in Ocean City on a year-round basis. We all know of family, friends and neighbors who do just that. Often times, these are new people and families to our community.  There are a number of wonderful neighborhoods within R-2 zones that have predominately year-round residents.I believe that part of the perception that we are being overrun with duplexes is due to the fact that the new FEMA regulations since Superstorm Sandy have raised both the first floor elevations and the overall height of new construction.  In some areas of town, a new single resembles a duplex.Lastly, if you believe the misinformation, you would think the number of students in our school system from Ocean City is declining sharply. The fact is the number of Ocean City students has increased in each of the past three full school years.We all know our overall population has declined over the past 10 to 12 years, just as it has in virtually every shore community.  But Ocean City’s decline has been nowhere near as drastic as some of our neighbors.Our variety of housing, our quality facilities and services, our outstanding school system and our low taxes compared to other neighboring communities continue to make Ocean City attractive to new home buyers of all ages, especially families.   We have a great story to tell.  We should all take exception with those who choose to paint a negative picture of Ocean City for their own stated political purposes.I would like to wish my mom, and every mom,  a happy and restful Mother’s Day.I hope you all have a great weekend!Warm regards,Jay A. Gillian Mayorlast_img

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