Bradley Beach will merge planning and zoning panels

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Bradley Beach Borough Hall. FILE PHOTO

BRADLEY BEACH — The borough’s planning board and zoning board of adjustment will merge into an expanded single land use board effective Jan. 1, 2022. 

The ordinance to merge the two boards was adopted Tuesday evening following a governing body vote of 4-1, with Mayor Larry Fox dissenting, and followed a public hearing that aired mixed reviews for the consolidation. 

The measure was first introduced on Sept. 21, following a public workshop with the mayor and council. That touched off several weeks of broader debate, with some opponents decrying it as “power grab” and warning that it would reduce opportunities for volunteers to become involved in borough government.

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Council President Alan Gubitosi responded to the criticisms before the vote on Tuesday, arguing that the measure would “help Bradley Beach manage over-development and help us strengthen the rights of all homeowners in Bradley.”

“I am a neighbor to everyone in our community, a proud resident of Bradley Beach and an active volunteer,” Mr. Gubitosi said. “As a homeowner, I don’t want to reduce property value. As a grandfather to five young girls, I don’t want to reduce opportunities for women. There is no power I can grab through this merger.” 

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