OCEAN TOWNSHIP: The March 8 Ocean Council meeting was filled with about 75 residents interested in the Ordinance 2303 on the agenda for decision that night.
It is an Ordinance amending and supplementing Chapter 21 - The Comprehensive Land Development ordinance of the Township of Ocean as it relates to Block 33, Lot 19.01 in the area of Highway 35 and Deal Road.
It was passed after a period of almost three hours of discussion, questions, opinions and viewed impacts. Residents referred to and asked questions about Paramount Reality-related plans for the area, still in the concept stage. Paramount is likely to develop the property at the intersection and roughly from the Logan Road intersection on the east and to the west past the highway.
The plans by Paramount Reality have been adapting to open meetings for suggestions by residents, discussions with environmentalists and those familiar with the changing town profile. The Council has been undertaking review of the possible rehabilitation of commercial properties in the town with the aim to improve appearances and add to attractiveness for commercial applicants who may look favorable to opening or expanding business in Ocean, enriching tax incomes from businesses.
The resident concerns about the ordinance address flood plain coverage, property appearance, environmental impacts on the properties in the area and matters of historic values to protect and compliance with NJ Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection and other state and county possible concerns. These matters will be a "work in progress" going forward.
Mayor Christopher Sicilano told the questioners that the revisions in 2303 will reduce impervious surface space from the existing 83% down to 52% and tree acreage loss from 28 acres down to 10 acres, saving tree canopy concerns. Water polluting concerns were voiced, including Deal Lake with the DEP and Ocean Board having to review and rule on them.
Council is interested in moving the ordinance along to add the changes and change the active ordinance, since the trees and impervious provisions are desirable and hopefully will give the Planners and outside agencies the opportunity to make their requirements known.
To view the video of the meeting go to www.oceantw./org , click "Mayor and Council, and the icon at the bottom of the page
At the beginning of the meeting the announcement on the next year budget was made. The figures in total will hold level for the total of regular "town municipal operations" items, and the total will see reductions from not having several periodic assessment in effect this year.
The Net is holding its own in just municipality taxes, not including school and fire taxes. Municipal Line item shifts help, as does careful options such as reserves being addressed.
A public review is being scheduled as it was last year.