Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

"Mini Marina" Amendments Declared "Defective"; Permit Issued "In Error"

Jun. 20, 2013

Circuit Court Judge Jim Sherbin has deemed that the Deep Creek Lake Watershed Zoning Ordinance “mini-marina” amendments are defective and that the issuance of a permit to Lakeside Creamery owner Bill Meagher was, consequently, an error. Sherbin made his declaratory judgment on Tuesday, following a lengthy civil case.

St. Moritz Properties LLC, Bill’s Marine Service Inc., and Silver Tree Marine LLC filed a case against the Garrett County Board of Zoning Appeals, GC commissioners, and Meagher last year. The plaintiffs asked the court for a ruling on the legality of the amendments and the permit issuance.

Meagher submitted a proposal in spring 2012 to the Planning Commission and county commissioners to add a new category of use in the zoning ordinance that would allow “boat rentals, including boat rides and boat tours, as a separate business and not offering any other services associated with the marina.”


The Planning Commission approved the amendment and passed its recommendation on to the commissioners, who held a public hearing on the issue on May 31, 2012.

Information about the category contained the following sentence from the ordinance’s Table of Dimensional Requirements: “The use would require a minimum land area of 10,000 square feet in any districts where it is permitted.” One section of the ordinance states that a minimum of 10,000 square feet is required for the “sale or rental of recreational vehicles.”

The commissioners voted on the amendment on June 5, 2012. Commissioners Bob Gatto and Gregan Crawford approved the proposal. Commissioner Jim Raley voted against it, citing reservations about “unanswered uncertainties.

After the zoning administrator granted a marina permit to Meahger, the plaintiffs filed an appeal with the Deep Creek Lake Watershed Zoning Board of Appeals. The board heard the case last fall.

The plaintiffs and their lawyers questioned the legality of the amendment and permit issuance. They indicated there were several problems with the new land use and said Meagher did not meet the land-size qualifications.

By a vote of three to one, the appeals board upheld the decision to grant Meagher a permit, which allowed him to move forward with his plans to rent personal water crafts and pontoon boats to customers this year.

The plaintiffs pursued their case in Circuit Court, with various hearings held over the course of several months.

“The decision of the Garrett County Board of Zoning Appeals in this matter is reversed,” Sherbin wrote in his order this week about the permit issuance.

He also indicated that “the court need not reach the issue of compliance with the minimum [land] area requirements.”

More here.



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.