Video: Annual ARC Report
At the 3/16/2005 Board of Directors meeting Mark Venit made a motion that would direct the General Manager to provide the board a compilation of ARC statistics.

Generally this would include stats on number and type of permits and variances granted. It would also include the reasons for denial or granting. Venit said his idea was to "bring overall operation of ARC into some sunshine."

The motion was defeated. Duffy, Cook, Sandusky, and Carey voted against. Venit and Coleburn in favor; Coleburn suggested a yearly report. Stachurski abstained, although his comments suggested support for the idea in general. Duffy offered no comments. Cook said a new ad hoc ARC committee recently approved by the board could look into the idea; ditto for Carey, who was appointed chairman of this ad hoc committee and responsible for picking other members of the committee. Sandusky said he believed all these stats were already available. If so, why vote against providing a yearly report of those to the board.

Stachurski noted that the board is responsible for ARC guidelines and these had not been reviewed since 1993. Why would four members of the board vote against this proposal for an annual ARC report?

An annual ARC report to the board seems like a no-brainer, regardless of what yet another ad hoc committee will recommend or not recommend.

From Mark Venit:

My objective is/was to ascertain whether there are any "patterns" or trends regarding which type permits and requests for variances are sought or denied and to see a categorization of the reasons for denials.   ARC/ECC, to the best of my knowledge, does not keep minutes of its meetings (as all OPA committees are required to do), nor does it compile the type of statistics I requested be generated.   Those who wonder out loud about the (alleged) capriciousnesse of some ARC decisions, selective or uneven enforcement, sometimes overzealous enforcement, and oftentimes arcane and antiquated rationale for ARC decisions are entitled to know if their concerns and allegations are, in fact, warranted or baseless.   Whatever the truth, the proceedings and decisions of the ARC need to be assembled and assayed -- and then made available to property owners.  

Such things such as whether polyvinyl materials should be prohibited falls into the realms of evolving technology, environmental impact (or lack of it), more affordble alternatives to traditional materials, etc.   Issues like these need to be reviewed from time to time to keep Ocean Pines guidelines more relevant.   We've all seen lists of wierd laws still on the books, but only kooks would think that kissing in public warrants arrest and prosecution. 

It's my belief that OPA property owners should have more empirical information before they about their pending and future requests made available to them.   Perhaps if ARC positions/ruling were known in advance, some folks might not bother to spend money on making dead-end requests that benefit only OPA coffers.   The Board has discussed developing a "common sense" approach to ARC guidelines and decisions, and it's my hope that the Ad Hoc committee (which I proposed last month at our closed session) will in fact efect such a philosophy. 

Whether that group will obtain the statistics I proposed be compiled is a matter of conjecture.  I will nonetheless re-visit the matter in the near future and will (perhaps naively) hope the ad hoc-kers will see the benefits in having the data to provide insight -- rather than not having the data to justify maintaining the status quo.  It's disappointing that the Board killed the proposal, but at least no one will accuse me of being reticent about touching "third rail" issues.

-- Mark

Venit's specific wording is in bold/highlighted type just below. 

1. Motion

To assign the General Manager with compiling statistics on activities and decisions of the ARC/ECC with regard to:

A. The number of permits requested, by categories of requests; the number of requests approved, denied, or pending;
B. The number of variances requested, by categories of requests; the number of requests approved, denied, or pending;
C. A listing of the reasons permits and requests for variances were denied