Margate. Beautiful homes, manicured lawns and gardens full of brightly colored flowers. It’s a big part of Margate’s appeal; lovely neighborhoods.
Keeping all this beauty up-to-code isn’t easy…. if you’re a Margate Code Enforcement official.
Front-yard fences are not permitted in the City of Margate. Unfortunately, proper enforcement hasn’t been performed in the past.
Margate has approximately 65 homes with non-compliant fencing on their property. 2/3 of those current front-yard fences are illegal. Homeowner had no building permits or zoning approval.
LISTEN: Audio clips from Margate Commissioner Meeting of June 18, 2021.
Margate Zoning Officer, Roger McLarnon: homeowners are erecting front-yard fencing on the weekends. Fences block colorful gardens and greenery.
Margate Planning Board plays an advisory role here. But it’s the 3 elected Margate officials who will need to decide this thorny issue.
Do we permit fences or not? Margate has a front yard landscape ordinance. Fences would hide the unique pleasures of Margate.
If you drive thru Sea Isle City, you think you’re driving thru a parking lot in North Jersey. Don’t tell Lenny (Mayor of Sea Isle)Margate Zoning Officer
Fence encroachment on property sidelines. Side-by-side driveway squeeze-play. Problem gonna creep out and get worse.
- Dogs harming lawn.
- 200 lb dog must be fenced in?
Commissioner John Amodeo is against Margate front-yard fencing. It does keep animals off of private property, though.
Q: Can some of the non-conforming fences be grandfathered in? What are options?
A: Seek variance, or become compliant. Courts could get tied up, tho.
Q: How does Margate enforce code with existing, non-conforming fences?
A: Notify them all.
Margate Commissioner Amodeo on front-yard fence ban: it will create havoc.
City Solicitor, John Scott Abbott: There may be room for a compromise. ex: Stone Harbor.
Margate Business Administrator Deaney: This is an elected Commissioners decision. It falls on their shoulders in how to regulate. Enforce, or not enforce.
- 5ft fence needed for 200 lb dog?
- Some people are brazen. Ignore City ordinance.
Pending New Jersey State law could upend current, local prohibition of front-yard fences.
Margate Planning Board Chairman Rich Patterson is against front-yard fencing. So are most of his colleagues on the Planning Board.
Growth of front-yard fencing: all this happened due to lack of enforcement by a city employee.
Ocean City is a wasteland. Ventnor’s a concrete jungle. Margate is differentMargate Planning Board
Fences are being ‘snuck-in’ on the weekends.
Code Enforcement Challenges For Margate
- Mature trees getting cut down.
- 3rd floor decks more common.
- Front-yard fencing prohibition.