Bad Building Idea

May 10, 2017

To the Editor:

The borough of Barnegat Light’s proposed amendment to its building code that would allow an additional 2 feet of height to new structures is a very bad idea.

It’s important to remember that it is not only an increase of 2 feet in height but it is also an increase of massing (2 feet of height times length times width of structure), which will have a dramatically negative impact on the environment, both visually and ecologically.

The extra weight of the massing increase will have an impact on the stability of our Island that is really nothing more than a sandbar. The height increase will impact light and airflow, two of the attractions to living on an island; impact the living areas of most of these homes as bathrooms and bedrooms become even more exposed to neighboring buildings; and create more noise pollution, which is already increased as homeowners more and more choose to denude properties of vegetation.

Because new homes are often built to the very limits of property setbacks on the average 50- by 125-foot plots of land, the distinctive charm of our borough, a fishing village since the late 17th century, is rapidly morphing into a more urban landscape.

As 30-year residents of Barnegat Light, we are keen to preserve as much of the unique flavor of Barnegat Light while that is still possible.

Bigger is not always better. With careful consideration of actual use of space and thoughtful architecture, there is no reason the existing building codes cannot accommodate the lifestyle of any homeowner.

There is no need to go “taller” in Barnegat Light. No one we know in town is interested in supporting a building code change that will contribute to what easily could become visual seaside tenements. We urge the council to vote no on this change.

Michele Fabrizio and Robert Kopech

Barnegat Light


Comments (1)
Posted by: Jean D Ragone | May 11, 2017 09:57

If you want an idea of how a height change can negatively impact the open feeling of a neighborhood, you have to look no further than Harvey Cedars. There are several oceanfront homes just North of Bergen Avenue that have taken advantage of the newer maximum height limit.  They are beautiful expensive homes but an area that once had an open uncongested feel now seems boxed in with many older homes sitting in the shadows.  Barnegat Light, please do not raise the maximum height requirement. Keep BL and LBI's unique shore ambience. Don't turn us into all the other shore areas.

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