Beach Haven Council Debates Historic Preservation and Local Ordinances

In a recent Beach Haven Borough Council meeting, discussions centered on several topics, including the impact of wind turbines on historic properties, proposed amendments to local ordinances for noise control and parking, the introduction of pickleball and tennis fees, and the regulation of boat docking. These issues generated extensive dialogue among council members and the public.

Dr. Bob Stern, head of Save LBI and a local resident, presented compelling concerns about the effect of offshore wind turbines on historic properties. Dr. Stern emphasized the need to consider views from higher elevations, not just ground level, when assessing visual impacts. The slides provided by Atlantic Shores showed turbine visibility, leading to questions about the accuracy of their visibility percentages. The council deliberated over sending another letter to further address historic district concerns, seeking to bolster council support for this preservation issue.

In the realm of local governance, the council scrutinized two ordinances regarding noise and zoning regulations. One ordinance proposed restrictions on construction and landscaping noise on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. A community member suggested that the council re-evaluate construction time regulations to ensure fairness to all residents, regardless of the holiday in question.

Another ordinance, 20244 C, was discussed, which would require architectural advisory committee review before site plan review in certain cases. Additionally, ordinance 20246 C, which sought to adjust fees for pickleball and tennis, stirred debate over its potential impact on the public and other general discussion items. Ordinance 20247 C aimed to prohibit parallel parking on the west side of Delaware Avenue, from Taylor Avenue to Fifth Street, to enhance safety. Plans for implementing angled parking and widening the area were supported by council members to improve safety for pedestrians, bikers, and emergency vehicles.

The consent agenda included routine matters, but resolution 88, which involved off-season garbage collection for commercial establishments, was removed for further debate. Resolutions 85, 86, and 87, concerning affordability assistance in homeowner agreements with affordable housing unit owners, sparked substantial debate due to the financial implications for taxpayers.

Pickleball regulation proposals to alleviate court overcrowding included delaying the sale of daily passes until 10 a.m. Data presented by community members outlined the overcrowding issue, and the council supported the proposal, anticipating benefits for parking and local residents. Discussions also addressed mooring regulations on West Avenue and Pearl Street, with considerations of boat registration for safety, the historical significance of the area, and the preservation of local fishing heritage.

The debate extended to boat registration and permits for using boat slips. The necessity of a registration system was questioned, particularly when boats already have state registration. The size limit for boats at the slips was also a point of contention, with some willingness to accommodate existing boat owners with larger vessels. Public comment highlighted concerns about the clarity of boat types allowed, the criteria for permits, and the impact on longstanding boat owners and the Bayman tradition. A resident stressed the importance of preserving commercial shellfish history and advocated for prioritizing Beach Haven residents in boat docking regulations. The transparency of ordinance proposals and liability issues for boaters were also raised during the meeting.

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

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