Banquet hall plan rallies opposition

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William DeCamp Jr. of Save Barnegat Bay (left) and Britta Wenzel (right) listens to concerned residents of Brick as they held a strategy session at the Cape Breton Club House in Brick Township to talk about how to fight to stop the approval for an 80 foot tall banquet hall to be build along the Barnegat Bay. (MARK R. SULLiVAN/ THE OCEAN STAR)

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Save Barnegat Bay and other opponents of a proposal to build a 48,000 square-foot, 78-foot-high, four-story wedding venue and restaurant along Barnegat Bay off Mantoloking Road gathered at the Cape Breton Clubhouse for a strategy session on Tuesday evening to discuss an oppositional approach against the massive project.

At the small gathering, concerns ranged from an array of potential environmental impacts on the bay to concerns about traffic along the two-lane county road. A week before the third of likely many more hearings on the proposal, Save Barnegat Bay was looking to rally as many people as it could to voice their opposition to the proposal.

“We need to work to find a way to get more Brick Township residents out to the Brick zoning meeting,” Save Barnegat Bay President Willie DeCamp said at the meeting. 

One of the biggest concerns voiced by many at the meeting was the precedent that permitting the construction of this banquet hall would set as northern Ocean County continues to build out.

“As Ocean County continues to grow out, the greed won’t go away. The next thing they’re going to start to do is build up,” Mr. DeCamp said. 

If constructed as proposed, the building would be one of the tallest in Brick Township. 

The project has been controversial from the start, and both sides battled it out during the previous board of adjustment hearing in July, lasting over four hours into the night, on whether or not a “banquet hall” is a permitted use in a B-2 zone, which allows restaurants. 

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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