Beach Haven Council Moves Forward with Redevelopment Plans Amid Community Concerns

In a recent meeting, the Beach Haven Borough Council discussed and voted on several issues affecting the community, including the amended redevelopment plans for specific sites, potential restaurant redevelopment, and ordinances about advertising flags, employee salaries, and capital improvements. The council also addressed the passing of Mr. Eugene Mulgrew, a dedicated public servant, expressing condolences and holding a moment of silence in his memory.

The meeting began with Mayor Colleen Lambert and Council members Nancy Taggart Davis, Catherine Snyder, Michael Battista, and Jaime Baumiller expressing their condolences for the loss of Mr. Eugene Mulgrew, a beloved public servant. The council honored his memory with a moment of silence.

The focal point of the meeting was the discussion around the amended Redevelopment plan for certain blocks and lots in Beach Haven. The previous plan had stalled due to disputes over a Redevelopment agreement. The new proposal aimed to scale back the project, ensuring the retention of commercial aspects at the Foster site, and maintaining a vibrant business district. The Council approved the new zoning, which would allow the current property owner at the Foster site to continue operations without a Redevelopment agreement. However, any proposed changes or developments would need Council and land use board approval. The Brennan site would be subject to overlay zoning, necessitating a Redevelopment agreement before implementation.

The public was given an opportunity to voice concerns and opinions on the proposed redevelopment. Kristen Brown, a local resident, shared her worries about preserving the historical and commercial value of the area, citing her efforts to save Fosters from demolition and condo development.

The council also discussed a potential restaurant redevelopment in Long Beach Township, with owners expressing their intent to maintain the building’s exterior while adding a market and indoor/outdoor seating. Resident John from Fairview Avenue voiced support for the project, aligning with the goal of preserving commercial spaces in Beach Haven.

However, the council was cautious about the potential of overdevelopment, particularly on the Brennan side of Beach Haven. One member suggested rejecting dense development projects early on to prevent lengthy processes, expressing that the decision regarding the restaurant redevelopment was in line with community preferences.

The council voted on several ordinances, including Ordinance 2023 28, related to the redevelopment plans, and Ordinance 2023 30C, designed to regulate advertising flags and clarify outdoor dining regulations. While most members voted in favor, one expressed concerns about the potential for extreme density.

The council also unanimously approved Ordinance 2023 31, which set salary ranges for municipal employees, and Ordinance 2023 32, authorizing capital improvements and acquisitions. However, one member disagreed with funds allocation for a rolloff truck over park improvements.

In addressing the fiscal health of the city, the council discussed and passed bond ordinances for sewer and water system improvements, emphasizing the need for grants to offset costs. They also approved bills amounting to $1,190,280.76 without further discussion.

Finally, the council discussed the best practices inventory questionnaire, designed to evaluate the municipality’s compliance with laws and implementation of best practices. They scored 37 points, exceeding the minimum of 29 required for state aid. Council members expressed gratitude to Nancy Taggart Davis for providing copies of the questions ahead of time.

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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