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Seaside Heights to Hear Proposal for Temporary Trampoline, Scooter Ride on Pier

The Dupont Avenue Pier, Seaside Heights, N.J., June 2021. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The Dupont Avenue Pier, Seaside Heights, N.J., June 2021. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

The owner of a pier along the Seaside Heights boardwalk that has yet to be developed is proposing a temporary set of amusement rides to be placed there while a long-term plan to build a restaurant continues to materialize.

The borough’s planning board heard initial testimony on the proposal at a workshop meeting held by the board last week. At the meeting, attorney Peter Van Dyke, representing property owner Michael Mabie, said the two temporary rides would consist of a 4-way bungee trampoline and low speed electric animal-shaped scooters, which will be contained in a removable fence or boundary.

The pier in question is located at Dupont Avenue, opposite the Beachcomber Bar and Grill. It is located next to the Ocean Club restaurant and cabana club, and is owned by the same group of investors as the Ocean Club. The pier has already been approved for use as a casual restaurant that will not have a liquor license, but Mabie said at the meeting the temporary rides were intended to bring some life to the vacant structure.

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“It’s really just to get some life on that pier for the summer,” said Mabie, telling board members that the rides themselves would be owned and operated by a lessee. “They do operate in other boardwalks throughout the state. It’s almost like a fair or a carnival – they set it up, and they could probably leave within a day.”

The ride structures would not be permanent.

“Realistically, they probably could be up and running within a couple days,” Mabie said. “If you could imagine that kind of ride, there’s not much to it – just a pathway and an entrance. We thought that it would add something to the boardwalk rather than just having a vacant pier – something for the kids, something lively to put there.”

Since the summer tourist season is already underway, board members agreed to hold a special meeting July 20 to consider approving the application, at which point a resolution of approval would be drafted immediately versus waiting another month. The board has occasionally utilized that practice in cases with exigent circumstances, such as a seasonally-based business that has a short window to operate, officials said.

The board’s engineer suggested a time limit be placed as a condition of any approvals to ensure the intended use of the pier – the restaurant that has already been approved – is indeed built.

A new restaurant approved for Dupont Avenue on the Seaside Heights boardwalk, Dec. 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A new restaurant approved for Dupont Avenue on the Seaside Heights boardwalk, Dec. 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Van Dyke said his client’s intention was to host the amusements this summer only, and would pay special attention to avoid disturbing surrounding businesses with lighting – especially since his own restaurant with an outdoor, oceanfront deck is located next door.

“Nothing is going to be permanent in nature, it’s just for this summer because they still have plans to complete the project that was previously approved for the same lot,” he said.

The board will consider the full application for a vote at the special meeting, which is set to be held July 20 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers above the borough’s fire house.

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