By MADDY VITALE
Beatrice Pinkerton has lived in Ocean City for 40 years. Her family has owned a duplex on Fourth Street for a century.
In her decades living on the island she loves, she had never previously gone before City Council to voice concerns about anything.
That all changed when she appeared at the Oct. 7 Council meeting to complain about what she called an “insane” amount of construction over this past summer.
The 89-year-old Pinkerton urged Council to impose a moratorium on construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
This past summer she noticed construction – a lot of it – on her block of Fourth Street.
With it came noise, difficulty for her upstairs renters to park because of the work and the added annoyance of construction materials blowing around. Her full-time residence became a full-time headache during the summer season.
“I love Ocean City and I don’t like what they are doing now,” Pinkerton said in an interview Sunday. “It has been going on throughout town, but this summer, there was so much construction right on our block.”
Pinkerton said she does not mind construction, just not throughout the summer.
“They were supposed to build in October. We got a letter,” she said of the home construction on her block. “It was supposed to be completed by summer. But they didn’t start until the middle of June and aren’t done yet.”
Michael Allegretto, aide to Mayor Jay Gillian, said Sunday that the mayor is certainly willing to listen to Pinkerton’s concerns and see about a way to make things amenable for all parties.
Currently, the municipality does not allow a property owner to demolish a home during the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, construction is allowed year round.
“The mayor obviously is willing to listen to any issue the resident presents at a meeting,” Allegretto said. “We will certainly look into it to see about improving construction sites for the summer residents and visitors.”
Pinkerton raised concerns about inconveniences for the residents and visitors, such as not being able to walk down a sidewalk due to construction taking place or difficulty parking because of work being done in that area.
Pinkerton said that she would like to speak to Gillian before the next Council meeting.
“I would like to hear what he has to say,” she said.
In the meantime, she was told after the Oct. 7 Council meeting that she would have an “uphill battle” and that she may have to go for a referendum in order to see about changing the construction codes in the city, she said.
Kurt McCray, who could not be reached for comment Sunday, also spoke during the Oct. 7 Council meeting about construction disruptions on Fourth Street. He also lives on Fourth Street.
“What we witnessed on our street was absolutely horrendous,” McCray said in his public remarks to Council.
For Pinkerton, there is nothing else to do but to speak out, she said.
“I’ve never done anything like this, but after seeing the construction on my street and all over the city this summer, I am going to ask for construction to be limited to the inside of a home in June, July and August,” she said.