Are part-time homeowners in Margate and Ventnor being kept in the dark?
Concerns have been raised. Hmmmm. Those seeking variances typically approach the planning board during the off-season? That’s when 75% of homeowners / taxpayers are not in town. Coincidence?
- A planning board meets to hear and vote on matters that require variance for properties.
- 10 day written notice given to property owners within 200 feet of property seeking variance relief.
- This can often give the applicant an advantage if notice is sent on a Friday.
- Surrounding owners claim a loss of at least two or more days of time to react to notice.
- Should towns adopt additional notification systems?
Are homeowners and businesses getting sufficient notice? Seems like controversial hearings happen during winter months.
75 % of Downbeach property owners do not vote. These taxpayers vote back at their primary residency. They want better access and knowledge of these matters. Perception of secrecy?
Todd Allen Miller says: About a week prior to each Planning Board hearing, the city posts the agenda on the website. The agenda lists all the properties that applied for variance relief, that will be heard at that hearing. http://www.ventnorcity.org/planning_board.aspx
Miller thinks this required public notice process is outdated and mostly non-functional. When was the last time you read the legal notice section of your paper?
Newspaper legal notices rarely seen. Newspaper circulation dismal.
Marc Weisberg says: I never doubted that unpopular island issues are decided when seasonal owners are absent. All the shore towns do this. The most incestuous, closed governments, politically speaking, I ever came across in my 69 yrs of political awareness, are here on the Island. Never quite experienced the level of high taxes and poor wasteful, or just plain poor decision making, and don’t care about non voters, that I see in my beloved shore area. Ya gotta be a cousin or brother of a bureaucrat, or a 40yr resident, or so it has always seemed to me. Maybe I’m wrong. Hope I am. Perceptions are bad.
Marc S Weisberg: Ventnor is the highest taxed place, providing the least amount of services and benefits of any place I’ve ever lived. Poor planning and poor business sense, with no consequences to its bureaucracy and elected officials.
Marc S Weisberg : 565 tiny fiefdoms not willing to combine for efficiency sake, because some of the bureaucrats and elected officials would lose they their jealously guarded sinecures (office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides income).
Over 75 % of property owners are not in town during the off season. They have little knowledge of these matters. A perception of secrecy.
Todd Miller: There is nothing stopping anyone with a home in Ventnor from registering to vote here. Of course you are only permitted to be registered in and vote in one jurisdiction.
Todd Allen Miller: Shore towns are hit with the terrible inefficiencies of NJ, a small state with 455 individual municipalities.
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It is time for Margate to join the new age and post electronically to all homeowners in Margate. The agendas for the meetings are known well in advance by 30 days or more. The matters brought before the board in many instances effects all of Margate. Why are we only notifying those within 200 feet of a property asking for a variance. Why are they allowed to have 10 days only to send the mailings? Why are weekends part of the 10 days?
Many believe the board is secretly having matters come before them in the off season and keeping it secret from the other property owners of Margate. I would like to believe this is not true but perception is reality to many.
It is time for a change and it should happen now!