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Hearings for Boardwalk Condo Units, American Legion Subdivision Delayed in Seaside Heights




The Seaside Heights planning board this week voted to adjourn two pending applications to future meeting dates.

The board had been scheduled to hear cases involving a proposal for boardwalk-facing condominium units, as well as a plan to subdivide land near the borough’s American Legion hall in the coming weeks, but both will take a bit longer than expected to be the subject of a hearing.

Parking Lot to Condos



The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)



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Anthony Pagano, the attorney representing the owner of 1011 Ocean Terrace, currently a privately-owned parking lot, requested an adjournment in order to have his client’s case heard before a full board. Since the one of the variances being requested in order to build the proposed three-family, residential building at the location requires a use – or “D” – variance, approval would require a supermajority of board members voting in favor of the project.

Since Seaside Heights operates a combined land use board that handles both planning and zoning cases, some members are not eligible to vote on use variances, therefore if a member of the board eligible to vote is absent, approval would require a vote to be unanimous.

There was some debate, however, as to whether the use variance would be required at all. The proposed use variance is required because of the proposed height of the structure – 51.23 feet where 41 feet is allowed – but developers are allowed to exceed the maximum height of a structure in a limited number of cases. Specifically, the height can be exceeded if the extra area is not “habitable space.” For example, an elevator shaft that rises above the roof in order to allow technicians to access mechanical units would not require a variance. In this case, while a stairway is the feature that exceeds the requirement, the building is planned to have roof access for residents, meaning it may not meet the most strict definition of the ordinance.

Reading from the ordinance, planning board attorney Steven Zabarsky detailed the exceptions.

“It should only be used as space necessary for the building to function, such as stairways, elevators, mechanical equipment or chimneys,” he said, notably adding that “minarets” are also acceptable on buildings so long as they do not lead to habitable space.

“Mr. Goldstein, our engineer, did a letter and indicated it wouldn’t qualify under an exception,” Zabarsky said. “It’s very, very limited to the language in the ordinance.”

The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)



The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, N.J., March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Pagano said he would work with the borough to determine how, exactly, a new public notice for a hearing should be worded, though the board may interpret whether an exception is allowed for the stairway to the rooftop during the hearing itself.

“If we cut back that area that is in that loft, we may not need a height variance,” said Pagano, who also plans on consulting with his client.

The property at 1011 Ocean Terrace is located roughly in between Three Brother’s Pizza, another residential property and the Primetime Arcade and Hershey Shake Shoppe. The application seeks board approval to build a three story, three-unit residential building 10 feet south of the existing structure on the vacant parcel of land.

The multi-family building would be located within the Resort Recreational Zone, which is not zoned to allow more than one use of what is technically the same property. A more routine “bulk” variance allowing a curb cut requirement of 22-feet where a maximum of 16-feet is normally required is also being sought.

The building is being proposed by Clown Around, Inc., a company owned by Anthony Baldino, who has long operated boardwalk businesses in town.

American Legion Hearing Date Set

Seaside Heights American Legion Post 351, 1400 Bay Boulevard. (Credit: Google Earth)

Seaside Heights American Legion Post 351, 1400 Bay Boulevard. (Credit: Google Earth)

Seaside Heights’ American Legion post will have its pending case heard by the board at the May 6, 2024 meeting.

American Legion Post 351 is planning to sell a portion of its property and use the funds to improve their building, which a representative from the post said has fallen into disrepair after first being damaged in Superstorm Sandy. The post is also counting on a new facility to help grow its membership and allow the organization to host more activities.

Pagano, who also represents the Legion, and the post’s financial officer, Jerry Skinner, informally proposed their effort to the borough’s planning board last month. The post plans to sell a 60-by-100 swath of their property at 1400 Bay Boulevard and to subdivide the land into four parcels – three for single-family homes and one for the post’s own building to remain.

The lots would be sold to a builder, who would construct three homes in an east-to-west direction on the piece of land north of the post building, which is currently undeveloped except for a parking area. The lots themselves are historical in their own way, officials said, as the post celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

“This property was conveyed to the American Legion post back in the 1970s,” said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz, who is also the borough historian. “It was a Hiering-Tunney property and originally had a reverter clause. But the paperwork made it very clear that this is their property.”

Skinner said the post, which has 157 members, is looking to become more active and needs to address its building, which saw damage during the 2012 storm. The post has not had enough money to improve the building in the years since, leading its overall condition and aesthetics to decline.

“We want to make the post like it always was,” said Skinner, with more activities and the ability to attract new members. “We’ve been barely staying alive over the past 10 years since Sandy. That’s why we felt we needed to do this project.”

The post had originally been expected to present its case at the March 25 meeting, but its representatives asked for an adjournment to the May 6 meeting, which was granted.




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