Belmar Council Addresses Water Quality, Geese Mitigation, and Pool House Ordinance

The Belmar Borough Council’s recent meeting focused on several issues affecting the community, including a public notification about water quality, the geese overpopulation at Silver Lake, the proposed construction of pool houses, and ADA compliance concerns. Residents can expect to receive a letter explaining a brief water quality issue from April, which has since been resolved, and the Council discussed measures to prevent future delays in reporting. Meanwhile, the Council explored strategies to mitigate the geese problem at Silver Lake, including a living shoreline and LED lights to deter the birds. The discussion also touched on the proposed ordinance for constructing pool houses, ADA compliance for sidewalks and curbing, and updates on community projects and infrastructure.

The meeting began with a workshop discussion addressing a recent water quality incident. The workshop focused on a notification to residents about an event in April where a chemical level in the pump tank was not within the required range. Although the issue was promptly resolved within hours, the DEP was not notified within the mandated nine-day period, triggering a mandatory public notification. The council assured that there was no compromise to the water system and that the discrepancy related to a chemical controlling lead and copper levels, not the actual presence of these contaminants in the water. The need to promptly notify the DEP in future instances and improve processes to prevent such delays was a point of discussion.

The overpopulation of geese at Silver Lake was another significant agenda item. The Belmar Environmental Commission provided recommendations for geese mitigation, emphasizing the importance of addressing the issue due to the geese’s contribution to high nutrient levels in the lake, leading to harmful algae blooms. The council considered several strategies, including a living shoreline project and the use of solar-powered LED lights to prevent geese from congregating and sleeping on the lake. There was also debate on increasing fines for feeding geese and the practicality of enforcing such fines.

The Council discussed the Silver Lake restoration project at length, stressing the importance of public involvement and education. The project aims to improve the lake’s ecosystem and manage the waterfowl population. The historical significance of Silver Lake and its past connection to the ocean was also noted, with emphasis on involving the community in the restoration process.

A public hearing was held regarding an ordinance amendment to include “pool house” as a permitted accessory structure. Concerns were raised by a resident about the potential for these structures to be converted into habitable spaces, leading to enforcement challenges. Council members debated the intent behind the ordinance, enforcement measures, and the need to ensure structures are used for their intended purpose.

ADA compliance was a topic of concern, with an engineer explaining that the borough is responsible for ensuring sidewalks meet ADA standards. A resident expressed gratitude for the council’s efforts in addressing various issues, including ADA compliance and the need for improved communication and signage to discourage feeding wildlife.

The Council also delved into the enforcement of building permits and compliance with construction resolutions, evaluating the effectiveness of existing measures and considering the need for improved enforcement strategies.

Additionally, the Council discussed updates on community projects such as the Piano Plaza project, the Belmar Housing Authority’s main elevator repairs, and improvements to the Main Street Bridge. The Department of Public Works was commended for their efforts, and upcoming events at the Belmar Public Library and updates from the Harbor Commission were shared.

Lastly, the meeting concluded with a closed session to discuss litigation regarding affordable housing and related attorney-client privilege communications. A resolution was passed to enter the private executive session, with the regular meeting set to resume afterward.

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.
Gerald Buccafusco
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