Barnegat Township Declares Shoreline Site Fit for Redevelopment
An ordinance adopted by the Barnegat Township Committee Sept. 6 recognizes that the old site of Shoreline Sand and Gravel on West Bay Avenue is in need of redevelopment.
Christopher S. Vernon, owner of Mercer Management and Development, has proposed to build a yet un-named “active lifestyle adult community” at the 110-acre site. However, Mayor John Novak said adopting the ordinance does not mean the development has received approval, as it will require hearings by the planning board in addition to other agencies.
“What we’re doing is agreeing that redevelopment is needed,” he said. “The applicant will still have to go through the Pinelands Commision and DEP (state Department of Environmental Protection).”
Vernon purchased the Shoreline site through a bankruptcy sale in 2013. The Shoreline company had declared bankruptcy in 2010. The township committee agreed with a planning board recommendation that the 110-acre site be designated for redevelopment.
Vernon has proposed amenities such as a community clubhouse, indoor swimming pool, community garden, fire pits, fitness facility, bocce courts, putting green, arts studio, pickleball and sports courts and walking trails. Additionally, a large pond would be available for kayaking, canoeing and stocked fishing. Also, plans call for a bike and hiking path to be tied into nearby Cloverdale Farm County Park.
An array of residential options are being considered for the project, including single-family detached units, clustered cottages, neighborhood garden villas and elevator neighborhood residences. The housing styles would all be located in several separate sections.
Vernon is also the owner of Bonnet Island Estate and Mallard Island Yacht Club, both in Stafford Township, and the Stateroom in Ship Bottom, the site of the former Quarter Deck Inn. Vernon plans to turn the Stateroom into a 105-room “Hotel LBI” by 2018.
Vernon said while he hopes to have a hearing before the planning board in the fall, a more realistic time frame would be in the spring.
“Our professionals are very hard at work getting the plans together,” he said. “It’s very important that we do this right.
“I think what we are proposing will be unique to Southern Ocean County. This is a new concept for age-restricted development. This lifestyle community provides a variety of senior residence options and services to meet the changing needs of our residents.”
— Eric Englund