Beach Haven Borough Council Addresses Redevelopment, Accessibility, and Local Business Disputes

During the recent Beach Haven Borough Council meeting, topics, including the swearing-in of a new Council member, redevelopment plans, beach accessibility improvements, and a contentious discussion with a local business owner, took center stage. The council also tackled proposed changes to construction codes and regulations for scrap metal and secondhand goods dealers, as well as various resolutions related to vehicle acquisitions, professional services contracts, and sewer use rules.

The session began with the swearing-in of Michael Mcaffrey to the council. Mayor Colleen Lambert and council members, including Nancy Taggart Davis and Catherine Snyder, expressed optimism about Mcaffrey’s potential contributions to the community.

A significant part of the meeting dealt with proposed ordinances, particularly one aiming to adopt a redevelopment plan for a specific block within the borough. This proposal ignited a debate among council members due to its wording related to condemnation. Some, including Michael Battista and Jaime Baumiller, expressed concern over the use of “condemnation” in the ordinance, while others highlighted the potential benefits of the plan, such as remediation and tax abatements.

The council also explored potential improvements to widen beach entrances for better accessibility. The use of Mobi mats and Gators was discussed, along with the need for permits from the Department of Environmental Protection for any alterations. The council members held differing views on the matter, with some emphasizing the importance of accessibility for disabled and elderly individuals, while others voiced concerns over potential impacts on local vegetation and aesthetics.

One of the more contentious moments of the meeting arose during a discussion with the owner of the Holiday Snack Bar regarding their outdoor dining situation. The owner expressed frustration over the borough’s actions, detailing their interactions, which involved summonses and letters threatening criminal charges. The council members emphasized the need for adherence to regulations and discussed the specifics of the agreement and the process of reaching a settlement.

Public comments echoed these sentiments, with individuals raising concerns about handicapped access paths and legal disputes between the Holiday Snack Bar and the borough. One speaker emphasized the challenges faced by wheelchair-bound individuals, highlighting the need for improvements. Another commented on the ongoing legal issues, expressing disappointment and calling for open communication and cooperation to resolve the disputes.

The meeting also touched on lighter topics, such as the upcoming tree lighting event and the 12 Days of Christmas celebration. Council members encouraged community participation in these events, underlining the festive nature of the gatherings and the opportunity for residents to come together.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Colleen Lambert
City Council Officials:
Nancy Taggart Davis, Catherine Snyder, Michael Battista, Jaime Baumiller, Holman, Frenia & Allison, P.C. (Municipal Auditor), Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri, Jacobs (Municipal Solicitor/ Labor Attorney), Owen, Little & Associates (Municipal Engineer)

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