OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — The company that owns a historic amusement park on the Ocean City, Maryland, boardwalk will be penalized for violating a zoning code if it doesn’t move its Ferris wheel, the town council decided.
Trimper’s Rides received its first fine over the weekend for violating the town’s right of way on the boardwalk, the Salisbury Daily Times reported. The company said moving the Ferris wheel and other rides could cost more than $100,000.
Antoinette Bruno, the president of Trimper’s Rides, told the town council at its meeting on Monday night that the placement of the ride was the result of human error. She also said the company didn’t know where the property line was before building the Ferris wheel.
“I think we made an error of a few inches, and we’re sorry. It wasn’t intentional,” Bruno said, according to the newspaper.
A surveyor contracted by the company found that the ride is at least 10 feet (3 meters) over the amusement park’s property line, town leaders who reviewed the findings said.
Ocean City officials said they support the Ferris wheel but told Trimper’s it can’t stay where it is.
“You put yourself in this position, and you’ve put all of us in a very uncomfortable position because nobody wants to say no to Trimper’s Rides, but we’re put in a position where this is a zoning violation,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.
Bruno said Trimper’s might have to get rid of a ride to accommodate the relocation. She estimated that taking down, moving and rebuilding the Ferris wheel would cost more than $70,000. Thousands of dollars and hours of business would also be lost to move the other rides, she said.
“As the president of Trimper’s Rides, we cannot take on that expense,” Bruno said. “We don’t even have revenue. We’re not even going to get revenue because the ride is here so short. We don’t make a dime so there’s no way we could do it.”
Ocean City solicitor Heather Stansbury said the only legal alternative is for the ride to be moved off the town’s property.