Ocean Planning Board Addresses Tree Preservation and Property Subdivision Concerns

In a recent meeting, the Ocean Planning Board tackled issues concerning tree preservation and lot line adjustments between two properties. The meeting highlighted a waiver request regarding the placement of street trees and the subsequent discussion about a homeowner’s removal of trees without a permit. Furthermore, the board examined two ordinances related to impervious coverage and cannabis use.

During the session, the board acknowledged a departing member’s contributions before proceeding to deliberate on a new case that entailed adjusting property lines. The focal point of the case involved concerns raised by the board’s attorney over the removal of trees and street tree requirements that were tied to the proposed subdivision. The conversation extended to a discrepancy identified in the setback of the front porch steps of the property involved in the subdivision. Initially, this was considered a variance issue; however, it was later discussed as potentially not requiring a variance, sparking debate on the best course of action.

The applicant’s attorney introduced the notion of resolving the tree issue through a payment in lieu of planting street trees. This suggestion was based on precedents within the township, which led to an extensive discussion on the legal implications and viability of this solution. The board considered the potential for this approach to be incorporated into the approval process without causing complications, ultimately aiming to find common ground regarding the tree preservation and the front porch step setback.

The waiver request concerning street trees brought forth another engaging discussion. The board deliberated on whether to grant the waiver and discussed adding a stipulation that would involve seeking the homeowner’s preference on the matter. After much discussion, the board consented to conditionally grant the waiver, with the homeowner’s input being a decisive factor.

This led to a back-and-forth between the property owner’s representative and the board. The representative explained that the removal was part of the construction process for a house, but there was uncertainty about which trees were removed. The board emphasized the importance of the property owner documenting the existing trees and adhering to the township’s tree replacement requirements.

The meeting also saw a review of two ordinances that were scrutinized for their adherence to the master plan. These ordinances concerned impervious surfaces, which affect water runoff and drainage issues, and the regulation of cannabis use within the township. The board found both to be compliant with the master plan.

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.
John P. Napolitani, Sr.
Planning Board Officials:
Jeffrey Weinstein, David Fisher, John Duthie, Estelle Klose, Edward DiFiglia, Jemal Beale, Jack Ades, David Bodnovich, Chris Caramanica, Claire Vilanova (Secretary to the Planning Board)

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