Beach Haven Residents Urge for Architectural Oversight

Jun 13, 2018

Concerned about commercial development in the borough, numerous residents urged the Beach Haven Borough Council to form an architectural review committee as part of its master plan for zoning. Speaking during the public portion at the June 11 meeting, resident Nicole Baxter said many people in town were concerned about a proposed development at the Beach Haven Bank building. A group of partners is looking to demolish the 55-year-old structure and turn it into a 40,000-square-foot retail/residential complex. It would contain 22 residential units, with five apartments set aside for affordable housing.

The developers are looking to have it completed by the summer of 2019.

The borough council recently approved the building as a site for redevelopment, which does not address specifics of the application. Those will be heard when the item appears on the land use board agenda, possibly in time for the next meeting, on July 3.

Baxter said a board could ensure that future building designs would be consistent with the character of the community.

“This is what a lot of people care about,” she said.

To prove her point to the council, Baxter invited each concerned resident to step up to the microphone. More than 50 gave their names and said they agreed with Baxter.

“That you approved this bank building (for redevelopment) is appalling,” said Scott Cunningham. “That’s why we’re here. You need to listen to us.”

“We don’t want just anything to go up there,” said Holly Lambert. “We want something that will improve the town.”

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said an architectural panel “is something we can do.”

“Much of what is happening with redevelopment is new to us, too,” she said. —E.E.

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