Old Beach Haven Post Office Site Targeted for Redevelopment

Jul 12, 2017

An ordinance adopted by the Beach Haven Borough Council Monday endorses the concept of rehabilitating a vacant site for future business and residential development.

The building is located at 500 North Bay Ave. For decades it served as the borough’s post office, but after closing more than 10 years ago, it was the site of several businesses before becoming vacant two years ago.

Local developer William Burris recently purchased the building and is looking to put in four retail stores and have a second floor for five condominiums. He said four units would be available at market prices while one would be set aside for affordable housing. Burris hopes to begin construction in the fall and have it open by next spring.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said the ordinance does not officially approve the plan.

“The specifics will have to be decided by the land use board at a hearing,” she said. “All this ordinance does is say that the council agrees that this is a site for future development.”

Davis said she was particularly pleased with having an affordable housing unit.

“Hopefully, this will start a new trend,” she said. “We need to bring more younger people into town. The Beach Haven First Aid Squad has said it badly needs younger members, so maybe this is a step in that direction.”

The council also adopted an ordinance that would ban the release of helium-filled balloons into the atmosphere.

Various environmental groups have asserted that when balloons are ingested by animals, those animals can’t digest them, and often the balloons will block food from entering the stomach, causing the animals to starve to death.

Davis said the ordinance was needed because as a shore community, the borough has to be mindful of protecting the environment.

“Since other towns adopted such an ordinance, it was time for us to act,” she said.

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners adopted a similar ordinance last month. Earlier this year, bans were enacted in the Atlantic County communities of Atlantic City, Ventnor, Longport and Margate.

“It has been determined that the release of balloons inflated with lighter-than-air gases poses a danger and nuisance to the environment, particularly to wildlife and marine animals so as to constitute a public nuisance and may pose a threat to the safety of its inhabitants and their property,” the ordinance said.

Violators face a fine of up to $200. Exceptions to the ordinance include balloons released by a person with a governmental agency for scientific or meteorological purposes or balloons that are released indoors.

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

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