Beach Haven Redevelopment Plan Moves Closer to Fruition 

Apr 11, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

The Beach Haven Borough Council has taken the next step in designating the marine commercial district for redevelopment by introducing an ordinance at its April 9 meeting. The meeting marked the first regular session held in the new borough hall.

Last month, both the Beach Haven land use board and council took the initial step by passing a resolution, which was reviewed and approved by the state Department of Community Affairs.

James Maley, an attorney who specializes in redevelopment law and serves as a consultant to the borough, said the ordinance does not propose any specific changes to the district, but agrees that the area is in need of redevelopment. The district consists of 21 properties that are mostly commercial. The largest holder is Morrison’s Marina, owning six of the properties. Maley said the designation will be “non-condemnation,” in that the properties cannot be seized by eminent domain.

Maley said that to qualify for redevelopment status, the district had to meet one or more statutory conditions or requirements. One of them was “areas with buildings or improvements which, by reason of dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement or design, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout, or any combination of these or other factors, are detrimental to the safety, health, morals or welfare of the community.”  

Another condition was “a growing lack or total lack of proper utilization of areas caused by condition of the title, diverse ownership of the real properties therein or other similar conditions which impede land assemblage or discourage the undertaking of improvements, resulting in a stagnant and unproductive condition of land potentially useful and valuable for contributing to and serving the public health, safety and welfare."

According to the ordinance, the primary goal of redevelopment is to eliminate those conditions that cause the area to be considered an “area for redevelopment.” It also looks to stimulate private investment and foster public-private partnerships to “accomplish revitalization of the area in a manner that best serves the needs of the community, strengthens the local economy and attracts residents to the area and contributes to the continuing vitality of Beach Haven.”   

In addition, the area has a non-condemnation designation. As a result, no property will be seized by eminent domain.

“As this redevelopment plan does not anticipate any property will be acquired by any government entity or utilizing government funds, there will be no displacement of either residents or businesses requiring a workable relocation assistance plan,” the ordinance said.

Sherry Mason, borough manager/clerk, said the redevelopment designation will give the borough better control over what is built in that area. She said any developer or builder interested in developing property in that district would first discuss plans with the council, which would then forward it to the land use board for recommendations.

“So far, no formal plans have been submitted,” she said.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Monday, May 10, at 7 p.m.

— Eric Englund

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