Concert Pavilion for Barnegat Light Will Move Events to New Park
A model of a new concert pavilion that will be located in the park at the former Coast Guard property at West Sixth Street in Barnegat Light got a good welcome at the February meeting of the borough council. Construction may start as early as this spring.
“It’s not quite finalized, and we expect that hopefully by April, we can start construction,” Councilman Ed Wellington said.
When the pavilion is built, it will be the new home for the concerts at the bay that have been held by the boat slip area.
It is also envisioned that the pavilion could be used for meetings and gatherings.
It will be located on the west end of the borough-owned property, closest to Bayview Avenue, and will be built on the pilings already in place.
In other topics, new regulations take effect March 1 activating the gated entrance to the dog park on West 10th Street. Recently, the gate had been installed but not activated. Borough residents will be given a card key at no charge when they show their dog license and proof of a current rabies shot. Visitors can purchase a key for $30 a season or $10 per week, at borough hall or at the beach badge booth on West 11th Street. Full information and instructions are available on the borough website, barnegatlight.org.
Borough officials are considering a land use change to raise the building height limit by 2 feet, a proposal that also came from the planning board. However, after a brief discussion, the idea did not advance at the February meeting and may be discussed more later.
“It never got past ‘let’s wait and see what the new flood regulations are going to be.’ And when they’re going to come out, we don’t know,” summarized Mayor Kirk Larson after the meeting.
The current height limit for residential properties is 30 feet. The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy is what brings up the issue in coastal towns as homeowners elevate their homes. Several other Island towns have already amended their building rules to accommodate a higher elevation.
“We could see what the public thinks. It needs more study, but it was a good discussion,” said Wellington, “to give people in the audience time to meet us at the post office,” he added, lightheartedly referring to input council members frequently get at the post office, where everyone in the town must come to collect their mail. (There is no home mail delivery in Barnegat Light.)
On another front, seven open boat slips are available for the coming season, Wellington announced. Plans are to repair and replace slips and pier fingers sometime next year.
A continued question about whether to tighten regulations on vendor trucks was talked about for an hour, with several members of the audience weighing in. The topic had been raised last month by an ice cream shop owner who has concerns about competition with brick-and-mortar businesses.
A mention last month of possibly shortening the vendors’ evening hours is no longer on the table, according to council members. At the February meeting, there was sentiment among both some council members and a couple of audience members for keeping the ice cream truck tradition alive in Barnegat Light.
However, the possibility was left open whether the $400 vendor permit fee may or may not be raised at a future date. It is currently lower than the fee in other municipalities, as restaurant owner Arlene Morrison remarked. Morrison asked at the meeting if council would “consider a slight increase” in the permit fee listed in the borough’s ordinance covering peddling and soliciting. It has not been raised since 2010, she pointed out, and it amounts to paying only $40 a week during a 10-week summer season.
Council did take action on another of Morrison’s suggestions: that the total number of licenses be limited to three. Council introduced an ordinance to that effect, with members noting that the borough has never had requests for more than three permits anyway. Second reading is scheduled for the March meeting.
— Maria Scandale