Carousel Hotel given 4 months for repairs Ocean City property must meet building and fire codes

December 27, 1996|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

A Worcester County District Court decree signed yesterday gives the Carousel Hotel and condominiums four months to comply with Ocean City fire and building codes.

Under the agreement, which extends a 10-day deadline imposed on the property by safety inspectors, town safety officials will monitor the repairs closely as they are made between now and April 30, the new deadline.

Also spelled out is a schedule for specific repairs and renovations to correct 40 violations of Ocean City building and fire codes.

"We're very pleased," said the resort's mayor, Mayor James N. Mathias, after the one-hour hearing in Ocean City yesterday.

The extension came after the Carousel corrected two of its most serious problems, Mathias said: The building's emergency generator is now working, and the Carousel will hire a fire patrol to check the building every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day.

Mathias and the Town Council said they were alarmed by the violations at the Carousel because evacuation during a fire or power failure would be hazardous and difficult. The attorney for the Carousel's council of unit owners (the condo's governing body) said the property would continue to work on the safety violations to meet the April deadline.

"My client had submitted a contingency plan to the city outlining where these corrections would be made and how," said Pete Wimbrow, an attorney representing the Carousel's council of unit owners.

The Carousel is a mixed-use condominium; in addition to standard condominium units in individual ownership, the attached Carousel hotel also is considered a condominium owner for the units it occupies.

Repairs or replacement are scheduled to be made to cracks in the building foundation, exterior walls and roof, stairwells and other exits, and some balcony railings.

Fire and building safety inspectors will check the property every two weeks. If work falls behind schedule or does not meet a deadline, the city can get a court hearing within 72 hours for an injunction to close the property, Mathias said.

"We feel that a lot of improvement has been made here and this property will be in compliance by the 1997 season," he said. "I think we have a real strong hammer here."

Repairs have been delayed by squabbles among the condominium owners. At least two lawsuits involving condo owners who have refused to pay fees needed to make repairs are pending.

Pub Date: 12/27/96

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