Cape May Zoning Board Deliberates Historic “Mine Sweeper” Property Development

The Cape May Zoning Board recently convened to discuss several significant zoning applications, among which the most noteworthy involved the subdivision and reconstruction of the historic “Mine Sweeper” property located at 1408 and Texas Avenue. The meeting delved into the complexities of granting variances for lot size, setbacks, and compliance with zoning requirements, with a focus on maintaining the character of the property while addressing safety and regulatory concerns.

The “Mine Sweeper” property, a term used to refer to a former residential structure on the site, has been a point of interest due to its historical value and unique circumstances. The application submitted by WCA Preservation Holdings LLC proposed a two-lot subdivision to reconstruct the single-family home while preserving the existing mine sweeper. The discussion revealed that the property had previously consisted of several lots, and due to the dilapidation of a second house, it was consolidated into one tract by the tax assessor.

The applicant’s representative, Keith Davis, outlined the necessity of the variances, which were required to rebuild what was once lawfully existing before the second home’s demolition. Davis argued that the reconstruction would reestablish the property’s historical significance. The new home’s design, as presented by the applicant’s architect, aimed to incorporate architectural elements prevalent throughout Cape May.

The board and the applicant’s representatives engaged in a examination of the technical variances requested, with detailed testimonies from various experts, including licensed planners and engineers. Tiffany Morisy, a licensed planner, underscored the variances’ technical nature, advocating that the development would create a better zoning outcome and advance the purposes of zoning. Morisy emphasized the plan’s alignment with the zoning ordinance and master plan, noting that the property had been intended for residential use. She addressed the potential impact of the architectural design on the visual environment and the importance of maintaining appropriate population density.

Key points of debate during the meeting included the lot’s unique challenges, such as being partially underwater, which raised concerns about stormwater management and access for emergency vehicles. The board scrutinized the implications of the lot’s condition concerning stormwater management regulations and the practical difficulties in meeting street frontage and access requirements. A fire official provided insights into the safety aspects, assuring the board of adequate access for firefighting purposes and the proposed lot’s ability to support fire apparatus traffic.

Moreover, the board discussed the placement of the pool equipment and fencing for Stephen and Katherine Clemens’ application to renovate their swimming pool, touching upon the project’s compliance with the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and safety measures such as a retractable pool cover. Public comments were solicited, and the board motioned to grant variances subject to conditions discussed, including compliance with stormwater ordinances and landscaping plans.

Another topic was the variance for parking requirements for a property reconfiguration that necessitated technical variances for building setbacks, lot sizes, and parking. The board explored the challenges of interpreting the changes and the practicality of parking on the property, especially considering the location of a garage space accessed by crossing a boardwalk. The property owner’s representative conveyed the intention to use the garage for a low-speed vehicle and clarified that the property was not meant to become a rental but for personal use.

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.
Zachary Mullock
Zoning Board Officials:
Marissa McCorkle, Michael Yeager, William Bezaire, Dennis Crowley, Robert Gorgone, Richard Lundholm, Marilyn Reed, Michael Jones (Vice Chairperson with Environmental Commission), Norman Ledwin, Mary Notch, Stacy Sheehan, Sam Venuto (Vice Chairperson), Timothy Walsh, Theresa Werner (Chairperson), Marvin Zektzer

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
Human Resources 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
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
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
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry 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
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
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