Council introduces proposed code changes for building and development

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The borough council has introduced proposed code changes to refine some current rules regarding buildings, streets and sidewalks, and development.

The ordinances’ amendments and additions address lot grading of properties, permits, fees and restoration for streets and sidewalks and refined rules regarding the sale of vaping, e-cigarettes and CBD products. 

All four ordinances were introduced by the council during its meeting Sept. 1. Ordinance 2020-19, however, adding a new subsection to the development code entitled “Sale of Vaping/E-cigarettes and CBD products,” did not receive unanimous approval.

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The ordinance subsection addition essentially sets specific zoning conditions for the location of businesses that sell these products.

“It’s not outlawing any of these things. It’s not putting anyone out of business. It’s simply tightening up where they go, since we want downtown to focus on shopping, dining and entertaining,” said Mayor Paul Kanitra. 

“That Arnold and Bay [avenues] corridor is vital, so we’re trying to leave that open for uses where people are going to come and recreate downtown throughout the day,” he added. 

Council members Bob Santanello and Andy Cortes voted against the introduction.

“I’ll be voting no on 2020-19,” said Mr. Santanello. “[As a] Libertarian, not a fan of government telling businesses where they can operate from unless there is an environmental stumbling block.”

“I also don’t think we should be judging business in their attempts to be more successful especially in these challenging economic times,” said the councilman. 

The remaining three ordinances refine current borough codes regarding lot grading, streets and development. 

Ordinance No. 2020-16 addresses lot grading and runoff along with permit fees for projects; 2020-17 addresses rules and regulations for paving and resurfacing work as well as those given permits fees; and 2020-18 addresses curbs and sidewalks in the borough.

These ordinances were introduced unanimously by the council. 

According to Councilwoman Arlene Testa, the licensing and building code committees met prior week to discuss the ordinances.

“We went over everything … and again it was a pleasure working with everyone, it was very productive, everyone had great input,” said the councilwoman. 

Mr. Santanello agreed. 

“I would just say first of all I want to thank the mayor for holding the ordinances from the last meeting to give us the opportunity for the stakeholders downtown, those folks in the licensing committee, to get a chance to go through them together,” he said. “Everybody brought good ideas and we addressed all of those and it actually made the ordinance stronger for the town and more fair for the residents and the applicants.”

Public hearings for all of the above ordinances will be held during the next council meeting, Sept. 15.

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