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Posts Tagged ‘development in ocean grove’

By Charles Layton

OK, all you zoning and land use nerds, we’ve reached the really important stage in the rewriting of Neptune Township’s Master Plan. Time to pay attention.

The draft proposal for the plan’s “land use element” – which deals in large part with policy and zoning issues for Ocean Grove – has just been posted online.

The proposal was written by a special committee created by the Planning Board. It deals with things like the density of our residential areas, the extent to which the flared setback should be protected (or not) and proposals to rewrite the entire zoning code for Ocean Grove, including things like the definition of building height limits.

This proposal is just that, a proposal. It is subject to change, for the better or for the worse. It will be aired at a Planning Board meeting on September 14 at 7 p.m. in the Committee Meeting Room at the municipal building, and there will be opportunity for public questions and input. But for Ocean Grovers to have effective input, they need to read and understand this document.

The proposal on land use is one of 10 “elements” of the overall Master Plan draft. The land use element is 34 pages long and begins with general statements about protecting the character of existing neighborhoods, with particular reference to the Historic District of Ocean Grove. It speaks of “maintaining the character, scale and privacy of established residential neighborhoods,” ensuring that renovations and new construction “are compatible with existing neighborhood character” and paying attention “to overall residential densities.”

These are pretty words. (If they were taken at face value it’s hard to see how the proposed North End hotel/condominium complex could be built, but nevermind.) The most interesting part of the document comes toward the end, in the “Recommendations” section, and especially beginning on page 28, which deals quite specifically with Ocean Grove. That section contains a proposal that the Township Land Development Ordinance regulations pertaining to Ocean Grove be reviewed and rewritten. That rewrite, one imagines, could get sticky.

Therefore, be it resolved that all concerned Ocean Grovers look this document over, print it out, scribble notes in the margins of it, discuss it among ourselves, attend the September 14 meeting, and remain vigilant as the process moves along. It’s a long process, and there’ll be time for suggestions and debate. But the time to get interested and start raising questions is right now.

NOTE: For a free, downloadable copy of the draft of the entire proposed new Master Plan, click on this link:   Master plan link  Be warned, however, that the document is very difficult to read online, and the maps it includes are so small that their details are almost a blurr.

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