Running a seasonal business is rarely easy, but for some property owners, the idea of generating revenue from an empty lot is sufficiently tempting. In Seaside Heights, officials have introduced an ordinance that would prevent the borough from becoming home to too many of those empty lots.
The borough council unanimously introduced an ordinance Wednesday night barring property owners from operating parking lots under certain circumstances. As more buildings are torn down in favor of new construction, some of the owners of those properties temporarily operate parking lots on the land while they await financing, state permitting approval or adjustments in the real estate market. The town, by way of the ordinance, is trying to avoid a scenario where there are too many unsightly dirt lots popping up on local streets.
“It’s to discourage people from demolishing property and simply using these lots as parking lots for years moving forward,” said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz.
Under the ordinance, if a property owner ceases any permitted use and demolishes a building on that property, they can only operate a commercial parking lot for two years. The measure is designed to avoid leaving too many properties in development limbo.
“It’s not a huge problem at the moment, but it’s something we’ve seen from time to time and want to avoid happening long-term,” Vaz said.
The ordinance is subject to a public hearing and second vote before final adoption.