Margate News in Brief, Edition of Jan. 3, 2013

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The following business took place at the work session of the Margate City Board of Commissioners Thursday, Dec. 20. The next work session is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 in the multipurpose room of the Union Avenue School, 9001 Winchester Ave. It will be followed at 5 p.m. by a regular meeting, where action can be taken.

Waiting on new flood maps

City officials have decided to include a disclaimer with building permits until the Federal Emergency Management Administration can update its flood elevation requirements in the municipality.

City Solicitor Scott Abbott said the current flood elevation for new construction or substantial modifications to existing homes is 11 feet. In the V-zone, the requirement may be as high as 15 feet above sea level according to 1988 data, he said. However, until FEMA gives the city its numbers, builders are left in a limbo if the city issues a permit for 11 feet now with that requirement to change in the future.

He said if someone built at 11 feet today with a permit issued from the city, “They’re hit with a substantial flood insurance premium because they have built a home that is not in compliance with flood insurance.”

Abbott said there are at least 10 applications to raise homes in the city, and he expects more to follow.

“This is very, very serious because it affects all the construction in our town. So until we get a firm definition requirement from the federal government from FEMA, we can’t confidently say to a builder, ‘If you go to 12 feet or 13 feet elevation you’re fine,’” Abbott said.

He said one of the solutions is a disclaimer.

“As they come in for their building permits, Margate is putting them on notice the current flood elevation is most likely going to be changed and raised,” Abbott said.

He said the city is anticipating amending its zoning ordinances in January.

Last month, the commission approved an ordinance allowing storm-damaged homes to raise their elevations to as high as 13 feet without a variance.


 

Badge fees on hold

Mayor Mike Becker said a proposed ordinance to raise beach badge fees is on hold due to uncertainty in Trenton as state lawmakers weigh a proposal to ban the fees for municipalities that accept federal or state funds for beach replenishment following Hurricane Sandy.

He and Commissioners Maury Blumberg and Brenda Taube agreed that the proposal should be included with the preparation of the 2013 budget. 

During a December work session, Becker and Taube proposed increasing beach fees from $7 to $10 for preseason badges, from $3.50 to $5 for senior citizens and from $15 to $20 for regular season badges. Blumberg is against increasing fees.

Weekly badges would remain at $10 under the proposal.

Margate and Ventnor have a joint agreement allowing access to both town’s beaches with a joint beach badge. Ventnor has yet to take action regarding the proposed fee increase.


 

Meeting dates set

The Margate Board of Commissioners will meet on the first and third Thursday of each month in 2013 and will hold a meeting on the second Thursday as needed. Work session meetings, where no action is taken, are scheduled for 4 p.m., with a 5 p.m. regular session to follow. The meeting on the second Thursday will be held 7 p.m. if necessary.

All meetings will be held in the multipurpose room of UnionAvenueSchool, 9001 Winchester Ave. as City Hall on Washington Avenue was left uninhabitable due to flooding from Hurricane Sandy. An engineer’s meeting will be held in the same location at 3 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

Meeting dates are Jan. 3, Jan. 17, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, June 6, June 20, Wednesday, July 3, July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 15, Sept. 5, Sept. 19, Oct. 3, Oct. 17, Nov. 7, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19.

Agenda, minutes and audio recordings of the meetings are available at www.margate-nj.com.


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