As a courtesy to our SHPOA Members, we’re bringing you a summary of each Stone Harbor Work Session and Council Meeting. Intended as summaries, these intentionally don’t have a lot of details and are not a substitute for the official Borough minutes.
Community Rating System (CRS) Update – As planned, the submission to the state to revise our CRS score was made in late August. The state will be reviewing the submission over the next few months. The results will impact flood insurance rates in the Borough.
Flood Master Plan
An update on the Flood Master Plan progress was made. Updates on bulkhead, lot grading, advanced warning signs, land use, beach and dune management, beach outflow removals, stormwater pump stations, bayside control valves, recharge zones, and elevated roadways were discussed. Good progress is being made in all areas.
House at 113th Street
Numerous concerns from property owners were received before and during the meeting about the elevated property under construction on the corner of 113th and Second Ave. After review by the Construction Office, it was confirmed that the property does conform with existing ordinances. Council members discussed how the existing lot grading ordinance is being used to build taller homes, although that was not the intent of the ordinance which was aimed at flood control. The construction office agreed that was not the intent of the ordinance. Later in the meeting, the Council resolved (see below) to suspend applications for zoning permits until the lot grading ordinance could be revised.
After several years of discussion, the Planning Board has developed a proposal to revise side yard setbacks for oversized lots. The proposal increases the size of the setbacks proportionate to the size of the lots. In other words, the larger the lot, the larger the setback. Councilmember Bunny Parzych felt that the changes did not go far enough and suggested that the setback sizes be increased. Several Council members agreed. The comments from the Council will be sent back to the Planning Board for review.
A home purchased by the Borough to comply with the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) laws was discussed. The home has three rental units that need renovations. To date, approximately $180,000 has been spent to renovate 2 of the 3 units with additional renovations required. The house must now be raised or torn down. The Administration and Finance Committee plans to review options and costs and return to Council with a recommended path forward.
Shorter Council Meetings?
Ways in which the Council Meetings could be shortened were discussed. A resolution is being considered to limit the time of speakers during public discussion, consent agendas, and other options are included. The mayor expressed concerns that some of the changes could lead to less transparency. Further discussion was suggested before moving forward with a resolution.
An update on the parking situation was made by Councilman Reese Moore. Additional ParkMobile signs have been added around town. Year-to-date parking revenue was approximately $350,00, which is comparable to 2022 revenue. There have been 218,717 successful ParkMobile transactions to date. There were 750 parking violations in August, compared to 350 in August of last year. Council has been working with other local municipalities to understand their experiences with ParkMobile. It was found that Stone Harbor’s rate of ticketing is less than Cape May’s. A thorough analysis of the program is planned over the winter to improve the system for the 2024 season.
Trash pickup will change to once a week after September 16th.
The trash convenience center at 80th Street will continue to be open 7 days a week, probably until November. Bulk trash should not be dropped off there.
Sewer Pump, Water Line
Construction of the new 114th Street sewer pump station is planned to start in October.
The water line improvement project on Third Ave from 80th through 96th Streets will start in September.
Regular Council Meeting
Ordinance 1652 adding a No Parking zone on Chelsea Place and Second Ave was unanimously passed.
A Resolution extending a temporary police officer to Dec 31, 2023, was unanimously passed.
A resolution was passed appointing Emily Dillon as Borough Clerk.
A resolution was passed extending Megan Brown as temporary Deputy Clerk to December.
A resolution awarding the contract for the construction management of the 114th Pump Station to DeBlasio and Associates for an amount not to exceed $30,000 was unanimously approved.
A Resolution adopting the Emergency flood plan was unanimously approved.
A motion was made to suspend all applications for zoning permits for all new construction and substantial improvements for properties outside the overlay zone until the lot grading ordinance can be revised to address the concerns of the home under construction on 113th Street and 2nd Avenue. The motion was passed unanimously.
To read legislation discussed at the meeting, please click this link: http://stoneharbornj.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Council-Meeting-Agenda-Sept-5-2023-1.pdf
To view a recording of the meeting, please click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9dOfn5DtlA
To read past Stone Harbor Council Meeting summaries, please click here: https://www.stoneharborpoa.org/category/borough-meeting-summaries/
To watch recordings of past meetings, please click here: https://stoneharbornj.org/agendameetings/watch-mayor-and-council-meetings-online/