Sunset Island

Ocean City, Maryland

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Creation of a beach community reminiscent of those along the mid-Atlantic coast in the 1920s was the goal for this traditional waterfront neighborhood. Natelli Communities retained Rodgers Consulting and DPZ to document this vision. The result is a community where streets run perpendicular to the water and buildings are stepped further back from the street as they approach the bay, opening up views of the water deep into the neighborhood. A large central pond and canal also provide water views to units in the center of the island. Proof that more is not always better, the island was entitled by right to up to 2,500 high-rise condo units. Instead, a bayside village with a variety of dwelling types, street-scale condominiums, townhomes, and cottages proved to be the preferred alternative.

Residents and guests enjoy a one-mile shoreline path with a series of small private beaches and natural areas, community recreation center with a large sundeck and indoor/outdoor pool, health club and summertime cafe. At the center is a village post office with attached general store, and central pond and plaza with a pop jet fountain park.

Storm water runoff and fire truck access were two major concerns for local officials. The solution to both was found by developing a 20-foot, two-way road section with seven parking panels and five-foot pedestrian walk on each side, each separated by a low profile curb. The parking panel is constructed from crushed clam and oyster shells allowing for infiltration. Street trees and lighting centered within the parallel parking panels allow for attractive streetscapes and informal on-street parking.