Ship Bottom OKs Changes to Building, Elevation and Drainage West of Boulevard

Aug 01, 2018

Although it will take decades to accomplish, the Ship Bottom Borough Council has set in motion a series of construction measures to help alleviate flooding west of Long Beach Boulevard. The measures regulate building heights, lot elevation and drainage.

Ordinance 2018-08, which was unanimously passed along with Ordinance 2018-09 on July 24, revises the definition of building height under the borough’s land development code.

“For all lots westward of Long Beach Boulevard that have been filled 16 inches for interior lots and 20 inches for lots fronting the bay or lagoon, the building height shall be increased one foot,” Ordinance 2018-08 reads.

Its companion measure, Ordinance 2018-09, adds a new chapter to the borough’s buildings and construction as it pertains to regulating lot elevation and drainage on lots located west of the Boulevard. Under that ordinance, no building permits will be issued for new construction on any land west of the Boulevard unless it is raised 20 inches above the centerline road grade, at the midpoint of the lot, for lots fronting the bay or lagoon. A height of 16 inches is required for interior lots, according to the measure.

“If any land referred to herein does not front on an improved municipal street, then the reference point for lot elevation purposes shall be taken from the nearest municipal improved street to said land as determined by the municipal engineer,” the measure reads. “All applications for a building permit shall include a plot plan showing the existing and proposed grades in conformance with this paragraph. The use of retaining walls will be permitted in order to contain the fill.”

Ordinance 2018-09 also applies to additions, alterations or repairs to existing structures when any structure, on a building lot, is moved from its existing foundation for the purpose of installing piling or to raise the structure to a higher elevation.

“In the case of additions, alterations or repairs to existing structures west of Long Beach Boulevard, the above requirements shall apply when the size of additions, alterations or repairs exceed seventy-five (75%) percent of square footage of the existing structure,” according to the measure.

To avoid negatively impacting neighboring properties, the measure requires all residential construction to maintain proper drainage.

“In lots that require fill, a drainage system of perforated piping shall be installed to provide positive drainage and discharge to the municipal street,” Ordinance 2018-09 reads. “The developer of any lot may install a drainage system on one or both sides of the structure and all roof leaders shall be tied into the system for positive discharge at the roadway.”

The measure allows roof leaders on lagoon- or bayfront lots to be discharged directly to the lagoon or bay via an individualized piping system.

“I knew I wasn’t going to see the bay anymore with all the houses going up around me,” resident Rich Cummins said. “Why are there (height) restrictions at 32, 33 feet?”

Councilman Tom Tallon said a few years ago all the council heard was complaints of monstrosities being built. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, many homes, not just in the borough but across the Jersey Shore, were required to go up in elevation to meet the requirements of the federal flood program.

These ordinances are designed to help ease flooding conditions in the borough moving forward, officials said. Additionally, the borough this summer completed a project to replace the bulkhead at the end of West 28th Street (see story this issue), one of the hardest-hit flood zones in the borough.

— Gina G. Scala

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