Margate Commissioners have finally offered feedback on the popular ‘Rebuild the Margate Boardwalk’ report.
This past summer, the 3 Commissioners said they’d review the Boardwalk proposal and respond. To date, Mayor Becker & Commissioners Amodeo and Blumberg have refused to endorse a public poll / survey, or town-hall.
They may not want to know how taxpayers really feel about this popular, seashore amenity.
The feasibility of constructing a boardwalk should be decided on its own merits. The Margate Boardwalk project is much more than a dune fix.
A Margate Boardwalk gives homeowners a place to gather. Walk. Sit. Enjoy the ocean view. A much needed town square. Much easier access for an aging population. The ability to actually see the ocean. Imagine that.
A Margate boardwalk would return what over-development has taken away. Open space. A feeling that you’re down the shore.
The following is PART ONE in a series.
Why is Margate City Hall protecting a handful of wealthy insiders?
At issue: a group of homeowners, officials and politicians prefer over-development and over-spending, rather than a better quality of life for all taxpayers.
In the past two years, Margate Taxpayers have been subject to:
- An amusement park in the middle of town.
- A proposed Amherst Ave water park.
- Threat of high rise and hotel development near Lucy the Elephant.
- Subsidizing 2, half-empty schools.
- Development on virtually every square inch of Margate.
- Waiving of site setbacks & minimum parking requirements.
LEGAL PERSPECTIVE. Rebuilding the Margate Boardwalk.
The following excerpts and concepts were delivered by Margate Mayor Michael Becker, and Commissioners John Amodeo and Maury Blumberg.
NOTE: the following also includes DownbeachBUZZ analysis and commentary. Bull-shit detection provided at no additional charge.
The legal right to construct a boardwalk on the beach area of Margate will depend in significant part upon ownership rights and agreements that run with the land.
Most of the beach area in Margate extending from the existing sea walls to the edge of the water is owned by the City of Margate.
The ownership occurred by deeds primarily from the early 1900’s but in some instances closer to current times. Prior to City ownership both the beach and boardwalk were established by a series of agreements.
The boardwalk was built in the 1900’s or in some areas prior to 1900 and most likely pursuant to written authorization, copies of which we do not have in our City records.
The agreements were made pursuant to an Ordinance dated September 16, 1926. These agreements run with the land and specify “the right to maintain the elevated boardwalk as now constructed or hereafter constructed.” The agreements also mention the right to keep the area open for public walk.
A number of properties were placed into title with the City of Margate after 1926. These agreements are superseded by City ownership. However, there remains about 12 parcels not owned by the City of Margate.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) by way of partial condemnation, gained the right to build massive dunes on our already healthy beaches.
DEP used the courts to force Margate and those 12 beach front property owners into compliance. Residents still believe Margate administration didn’t do their best to protect Margate. Today, we have an industrialized beach. A dune and beach sewer system that’s way too big. Margate leadership failed the taxpayers.
Osborne Beach Club on Osborne Avenue and the Margate Fishing Pier both remained in private ownership and thus were included in the partial condemnation taking.
The DEP and/or Army Corps of Engineers could furnish Margate its title research for the beach. This research will be extensive.
There is likely, a recorded written authorization that allowed the original boardwalk to be constructed on private land. However, if there isn’t an enforceable boardwalk easement and one or more of the beach front property owner contests the use of their land for the purpose of the boardwalk, the problem could be remedied by the partial condemnation similar to what the State of New Jersey did to the City of Margate and the remaining private property owners for the dredging & fake dune project.
The DEP and Army Corps of Engineers would have jurisdiction over the construction of the boardwalk along Margate’s beach.
The current DEP Commissioner is Katherine McCabe. She has publicly spoken about the high priority she gives for public access to state waters. An initial meeting with the DEP could be arranged, same being referred to as a pre-application conference.
A high profile project such as rebuilding the Margate Boardwalk may warrant a meeting directly with Commissioner McCabe.
Mention has been made about the existing easements and rights of the DEP and Army Corps for the storm water piping system. Some concerns have been raised about building a boardwalk over those pipes.
There are a number of communities such as Atlantic City and Ocean City which have boardwalks built over storm water pipes. The storm water pipes in Margate are now considered to be owned by the City of Margate, This ownership issue of the pipes should be confirmed.
The construction of the boardwalk over pipes could be resolved in conjunction with the DEP and Army Corps permitting process.
Many of the properties along beach blocks today did not exist when the boardwalk was in use. Atlantic Avenue was a trolley route and partially paved.
Margate leadership believes a boardwalk is non-essential. Odd way of thinking for 3 politicians in a shore town.
Our 3 Amigos think Atlantic Ave is fine for families. 4 lanes of speeding cars. Crowded bike lanes. Parking in both directions. Elected leadership ignoring fact that Atlantic Ave can be a dangerous place to walk, run, bike or roller skate.
A Boardwalk is safe. Much safer. Shame on Margate Public Safety Commissioner, John Amodeo. And you wanna be Margate’s next Mayor?
Hmmm. Mayor Blumberg. Has a nice ring to it.