Ocean City "Over Sand Vehicles Program" No Longer Pursued - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Ocean City "Over Sand Vehicles Program" No Longer Pursued

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - Cars driving on the sand in Ocean City, the idea is now officially off-the-table.

According to members in the audience at Tuesday's city council meeting, council members decided to end talks right at the beginning of the meeting.

Just a week ago, Ocean City council said "yes" to allowing cars on their beaches for surf fishermen.

On Monday, the Surf Rider Foundation decided to fight the proposal. Ocean City chapter chairmen Shelly Dawson says he never expected council members to vote on a beach driving program.

"To me, I think we're creating an amusement out of the beach," Dawson said.

Ocean City council passed a pilot program last week, allowing an unlimited amount of vehicles onto the beach. Drivers would need to buy a $75 permit to use the beach between 27th and 94th Street.

But only licensed Maryland fishermen can utilize the program.

"You're taking a specific group and excluding all others," said Dawson. "I would not know why a surfer and his family or a beach goer of any kind during the winter should not be allowed by permit and drive on the beach.

"If [one group is allowed], then all should be."

A petition circulated with more than 800 electronic signatures at the time of this report and notes from locals and opposition.

"Too many people use the mid-town beaches during the off-season," the Change.org petition read. "Please take a step back and reconsider this. Myself and others strongly believe this is a poor decision that was made on the councils behalf and one that shows lack of respect for the ocean and a lack of understanding of the area as a community."

City engineer Terence McGean helped set up the pilot program and said the city would do its "best to try to address [any] concerns."

The proposal would have needed approval by the Department of Natural Resources, but now the program will not be pursued.

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