Cape May Zoning Board Approves Variances for Historic Home Renovations and Discusses Public Comment Inclusion

At the recent Cape May Zoning Board meeting, attention was devoted to the approval of a series of variances required for the renovation of a historic property owned by Thomas and Gigi Lord. The board also deliberated on the inclusion of a public comments section during meetings and voted to allow it, despite some concerns. The meeting progressed to approve resolutions for various properties, including the Castleton, Basset family LLC, and Cape Home Investment LLC.

The Lords’ property, a cherished family home for over a century, was at the forefront of the discussion. The proposed renovations included the construction of an elevator and the rebuilding of a garage, in line with Historic Preservation Commission guidelines. These renovations necessitated variances due to increased lot coverage, floor area ratio, and altered setbacks. Tom Lord emphasized the family’s deep roots in the property and their desire to continue their legacy while accommodating their needs for aging in place.

Architect Aine Lence presented a case for the project, focusing on the balance between maintaining the property’s historical significance and introducing modern amenities for accessibility. The board evaluated the necessity of the variances, particularly concerning the elevator and the garage’s impact on lot coverage and setbacks. Lence cited the Americans with Disabilities Act to underline the importance of accessibility modifications, such as the proposed elevator, which blended into the historical character of the house.

During the meeting, discussions about the porch extension on another property involved the visual appeal and necessity of variance for the enclosure with screens. The board eventually approved the variances for the porch project.

Advertisement

Public comments were welcomed by the board, with residents and acquaintances of the Lord family expressing support for the renovations. Speakers highlighted the project’s compliance with FEMA and stormwater ordinances and its potential to maintain the neighborhood’s character. The board showed particular interest in the preservation of a crepe myrtle tree next to the garage, which held sentimental value for the property owners.

The board also addressed stormwater issues, the impact of lot coverage on the drainage system, and the proposed increase in floor area ratio. The discussion extended to the practicalities of relocation and construction of the garage, including the inclusion of an HVAC system and whether it classified the space as habitable. Conditions such as prohibiting habitable space over the garage and disallowing running water and sewer lines on the second floor were debated before the board passed a motion to approve the garage variance.

The approval of bill payments raised concerns among some members regarding their expertise to vote on these matters. A suggestion was made to refer the issue to the city manager for further consideration.

Advertisement

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.

Mayor:
Zachary Mullock
Zoning Board Officials:
Norman Ledwin, Mary Notch, Stacy Sheehan, Sam Venuto, Timothy Walsh, Theresa Werner, Marvin Zektzer, Tom Cataldo, Steve Bodnar

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Planning Board,Zoning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
FL
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
MA
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
NJ
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes
Minutes
Recording