The owner of the former Funtown Pier property in Seaside Park is seeking permission from the borough’s planning board to add new features to the beachfront property where the iconic amusement attraction once stood.
Prevented by Seaside Park officials from being able to construct a new pier that includes tall thrill rides – the only way an investment in a new pier would be profitable, its owner says – William Major is seeking to expand the scope of the private beach that now stands in its place. The pier was damaged in Superstorm Sandy and fully collapsed during the Sept. 2013 boardwalk fire. It was never rebuilt following a controversial decision by the borough council to limit the height of amusement rides.
Major, who has operated the property as a for-profit BYOB beach, is proposing more cabanas, approximately 15 feet in height or less, a relocatable 25-by-50-foot Tiki Hut and a 3,600 square-foot playground area at the site. He is also proposing to amend the conditions of a prior zoning approval in order to add an on-site area for food trucks and to create an area for portable pole-mounted grills that will cover a 120-by-62-foot plot.
Major’s attorney, Melanie Szuba-Appleby, stated in planning documents that no variances are required for approval. The parcel is located within the borough’s Boardwalk Zone – specifically, the Amusement Zone District and the Water Dependent Use Zone District.
The planning board will consider the application at a hearing scheduled for May 7 at 7 p.m. The hearing will be held at second floor meeting room of the borough police department building.