Margate Officials Prefer Complicated Boardwalk Referendum Question?

Margate Boardwalk
1915 Margate Boardwalk

Should Margate explore plans, cost & feasibility of rebuilding the once popular Boardwalk? That’s the simple goal behind asking this question on the Nov 3 general election ballot.

Some form of this simple referendum question should be included on the general election ballot of November 3rd.

The goal of a Boardwalk referendum question is to take the temperature of local voters. Just get a sense of which way the wind is blowing. That’s all.

But hold on there. Looks like the 3 Margate Commissioners want their own version of the referendum question. One that, we believe, places a heavy thumb on the scale.

Mayor Becker didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday, ya know.

Mayor Becker Margate
Mayor Becker of Margate

What this Boardwalk referendum question should NOT do, is force voters to consider hypothetical costs and unknown challenges of rebuilding the famous Margate Boardwalk.

NOTE: Margate 2nd homeowners, who make up 75% of the tax base, are not able to participate at this time.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Margate Mayor Becker, along with Commissioners Amodeo & Blumberg, prefer a more complicated, scary referendum question. One filled with inflated, open-ended costs and myriad legal challenges.

Glenn Klotz of Margate Boardwalk Committee

The idea of re-building Margate’s boardwalk became more serious after beach access was negatively affected by dune building and sewer pipe installations.

A re-built Margate Boardwalk would soften the blow of massive dunes and beach sewer pipes along the coast of Absecon Ave.

margate boardwalk

The Margate Boardwalk was built in 1906. It stood for 38 years until the ’44 hurricane where it was substantially damaged. The 1962 Good Friday Nor’easter took out the final pieces of this once great, wooden walkway.

Rebuilding the Margate Boardwalk would be the best thing to happen to Margate since Lucy the Elephant was saved from the wrecking ball.

Rich Helfant, Director Lucy Committee

A rebuilt Margate Boardwalk would feature pavilions, benches and rest areas. Easier access to the beach. A much safer alternative for walkers, joggers and bikers to use instead of nearby Atlantic Ave.

A few weeks back, the MARGATE BOARDWALK COMMITTEE offered the following wording for the referendum question:

“Shall the City of Margate appropriate $285,000 to be able to award contracts to conduct the legal, engineering, environmental and financial studies required to apply for the necessary State and Federal permits to construct a non-commercial BW upon Margate’s public beach extending from and connecting to the end of the existing BW At Fredericksburg Ave. in Ventnor City, (on the border with Ventnor) to Coolidge Ave. in Margate City ( on the border with Longport.)” being on average 27 ft. wide with (30 – 35) access ramps of 10 ft in width.  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following interpretive statement concerning the above question be placed on the Nov. 3, 2020 General Election Ballot for the City of Margate City.

“This question if approved by the voters, will give direction to the MBOC to appropriate ($285,000) for studies (title searches, surveying, preliminary engineering design, test borings & financial analysis) necessary toward acquiring the State and Federal permits required to build a non-commercial BW at the 2019 cost estimated to be $14 mil. To $24 mil. depending on thefinal design chosen, to be funded by public monies, bonds, grants, and private endowments.

The Margate Boardwalk Committee hopes elected officials will consider the changes recommended. In the meantime, MBC will be organizing and holding Zoom presentations / meetings throughout the late summer and fall.

Have a group that wants to know more? Need a presentation via ZOOM/ online meeting? Contact Glenn Klotz at 609-823-3964 or [email protected]

The Margate Boardwalk should have been rebuilt in 1944.

Rich Helfant, Lucy the Elephant

RK: My wife and I would love a boardwalk in Margate. Many mornings we load our bikes into the van and go to the Ventnor Boardwalk. We won’t ride on Atlantic Ave. Last year I was very nearly hit by a truck. Atlantic Ave is NOT a safe place to ride a bike! Sooner or later, there will be an accident. Wish I could vote on local matters. I’m a second home-owner. We’re property owners and tax payers in Margate

37 thoughts on “Margate Officials Prefer Complicated Boardwalk Referendum Question?”

  1. The corrupt 3 Amigos should just pad the budget for what they plan to steal and move on. It’s going to cost twice as much as budgeted anyway and take twice as long to build. Eyes wide open!.

    1. Your just spouting nonsense to try and scare people. Show me where these men have done any of this in the past. Nothing that’s been built that I know of during their tenures has cost twice as much as budgeted and taken twice as long to build. If you have any proof of any of these things you claim they do or will do then show it or shut up.

  2. Margate Charlie

    NOTE: Margate 2nd homeowners, who make up 75% of the tax base, are not able to participate at this time.

    This is the biggest joke of all, non resident home owners have no say in where their tax money is spent.
    If it wasn’t for the 75% coming from the 2nd homeowners, Margate would be a ghost town who couldn’t afford trash pick up or police and fire. Margate would be just another Pleasentville with an ocean view that most locals never see. Vote yeas for the boardwalk, that what 75% of the taxpayers want.

  3. In these times we need to stay positive. I would love a boardwalk. It would add to the desirability of our community.for young and old for exercise,viewing the ocean and easier access to the beach. It is a difficult task for anyone who is even slightly physically compromised to navigate over the dunes.
    I don’t know why anyone who wouldn’t enjoy an extended boardwalk.


    1. The people who really don’t want this are the people who live on the beach blocks they already have their way with no parking . Even Ventnor allows parking on beach blocks. All people should be allowed to vote if they pay taxes. Iet the people decide.

    2. You won’t be able to see the ocean from the boardwalk. You will see the dunes…just like the Ventnor boardwalk.

  4. A yes vote for me!
    Please give us the boardwalk in Margate because it would be a much safer way to walk and bike instead of Atlantic Avenue.
    It also would be great to bring the community together to spend time with family and a great connection to the Ventnor community.
    I own a condo on Atlantic Avenue and it is not safe to ride a bike or exercise in the morning for a morning walk.
    Cars speed n come very close to bikers and pedestrians.
    Please seriously consider a boardwalk because we would love to see it happen soon before someone gets killed on Atlantic Ave.
    It’s just a great idea all the way around.
    Thank you

  5. The benefits certainly out weigh any negatives. Taxes will go up anyway regardless of this project or another. I’d like to see my tax money spent on something that Has a direct and positive affect for myself and my family. Here’s my list of positives… make your own decision.

    -Safety for walkers, runners, bikers AND drivers!
    (Ever since Covid there have been more people then ever that refuse to use sidewalks for exercise, it’s ridiculous and dangerous!)
    -Easier access to beach for everyone, including elderly, those physically challenged, young children, etc
    -Even more resale value for property owners
    -Ability to spread out the crowded Ventnor boardwalk!
    -Beautification: currently the dunes block the view of the ocean anyway, why not make something of this necessary eyesore
    -Ability for endurance events (Charity runs/walks) to Take place on boards rather than closing parts of Atlantic ave and other streets
    -with a boardwalk comes lights, I presume which will always be a safer alternative

  6. I prefer that Margate explore plans, cost & feasibility of redirceting the side streets, making most one way. Big cars and heavy seasonal traffic make for hazardous driving in the summer.
    If you build a boardwalk, they will come…late night guests, displaced animals, lots of trash.

    1. I don’ agree…Ventnor does not have that kind of problem. I am a strong supporter of building a boardwalk in Margate! All the Pro’s I see in these posts are right on!

  7. I think a boardwalk would be a great addition for all in Margate.

    Safer streets by moving bikers to the boardwalk.

    A great place for families to stroll the boards.

    Places for friends to gather and enjoy the ocean view and fresh air.

    Easier access to our great beaches for families with children. Easier access for all beach goers of all ages. Especially our older visitors and residents.

    I think it is a GREAT idea and I will vote YES!
    Yes I can vote since I am a full time resident.

    1. Have you walked the Ventnor boardwalk? You can’t see the beach/ocean most of the way as the dunes are in the way. Also, the fresh air won’t be any fresher standing on pressure treated wood. Last, boardwalk family memories aren’t made on an empty boardwalk. They are/were made in Ocean City with all of the bustle and entertainment etc. As far a beach access…the beaches are easy to access now. How will climbing up and down steps make anything easier.

  8. The potential for a Margate boardwalk to look like AC is always a possibility. Bike riders will still ride on the street. A greater number of bike riders on the boardwalk could become dangerous for walkers. The cost of the board walk in my opinion will not increase home values but will increase over all expenses resulting in higher taxes. As a non voting second home owner I look at the creation of a boardwalk as a negative impact on the natural state of the beach. Additional lights bring light pollution that disorient wildlife. A beach is natural and should remain that way. If you are concerned about riding on the street reduce the four lanes on Atlantic to one in each direction, add a designated bike lane.
    Gary Risler

  9. There would be outrage if citizens voted yes and language of referendum underestimated costs which would result in the Commissioners being held responsible. The BW committee argues if you know how to manage construction costs then the numbers they want are accurate. However with a pandemic, the US economy in serious danger, relations with china in crisis, big supply chain disruptions, etc etc would make it extremely naïve and foolish to present numbers with 2020 construction costs for a project that will be several years away in light of DEP and environmental obstacles as well as lengthy litigation over riparian rights for the 11 beach lots that are privately owned, without factoring in a significant % for error. (note the commissioners says on record the litigation costs are totally unknown and not included) The BW representative also seems to believe litigations costs would be controllable which is totally unrealistic in light of unlimited resources of riparian rights owners who can easily litigate this for years due strong legal arguments. The Commissioners did not even including in their proposed Language many other costs like repairs/maintenance, injury liability costs, fire and police etc etc The other thing to factor is $285,000 of tax payer money will be spent and this project will never get off the ground and could easily be rejected by the DEP or the Courts. The Commissioners owe the citizens TRANSPARENCY on all of this and they CANNOT sell magic beans at the taxpayers expense!!

  10. No No a thousand times No. Didn’t we learn from Covid-19. I couldn’t wait for the Ventnor boardwalk to open. The day it did I went a few blocks and the unmasked crowds were far more dangerous than the streets Riding single file in the bike lane is safe.
    The congested boardwalk is always a hazard.
    Aren’t we paying enough in taxes?
    Yes, let’s relocate Club WAWA to the boardwalk for a loud free for all that will require additional policing.
    I do not want traffic on and off all hours of the day and night.
    Keep Margate the wonderful beach town it is.
    Are you forgetting utilities, policing, and escalating maintenance costs.
    I trust our commissioners and wonderful Mayor to come up with the proper referendum. B

    1. Getting very silly. Hearing the same voices in favor of moving forward with no realistic lan or idea of true costs and Iif Covid taught us anything its all about social distancing. Don’t need to congregate on a narrow walkway strolling along in a pack.
      Is a thing if the past.
      Boardwalk is an absolute waste of out precious resources. Leave our beauty beaches alone and a wear a mask.

  11. Way too much money for the study and way way too much money for a boardwalk. Walk on the beach and enjoy nature for free. Yet another example of frivolous spending of other peoples money. What’s next, casinos, amusement parks and 200 tee shirt shops? You know we need it…let’s do a study.

    1. No one has masks

      Ironically the dunes have stopped no one as the margate beaches are packed way more then ever before Covid virus notwithstanding !
      BW with showers, foot baths, pavilions will make crowds exponential.

    2. I’m a year round resident and have been for years. I don’t think it is correct to exclude any homeowner from this referendum, whether they be a primary resident or 2nd homeowners. I am against utilizing our precious beaches for any further construction.

      As a year round resident, we will have to endure the years of long construction nuisances that will certainly involve traffic snarls, travel delays, detours, noise and debris consequences while the work goes on and on.

      Also living through the complete disaster of the drainage/dune project that took years, made the majority of beach inhospitable season-after-season, while entrances were closed, tractors moved mounds of sands at all hours with the noise associated with that, huge delivery trucks dropping off pipes/lumber and the constant dredging which occurred winter/spring/summer/fall.

      Businesses suffered for severely during those years. The beauty of the beaches has been diminished from the Dune project with large exposed pipes at the shore line, removal of the iconic rock jetties every few beaches, having to trek up and down a hill to get close to the water, it’s sad.

      Let’s not endure another massive construction project. As a year round resident, I’m hope the 2nd home owners can understand we can’t go through another few years of this after enduring the COVID-19 pandemic, the disaster Dune project, Super storm Sandy. We need a break, please. Respectfully submitted, Donna in Margate

  12. We bought in Margate because it’s beautiful, great Restaurants, nice neighbors, awesome beach. If you want a boardwalk go to Atlantic City, Ocean City or Wildwood. I think that it would bring in a lot of unwanted traffic which is not what Margate is about. If anything let’s focus on getting bayside back to normal. Maybe add more outside dinning by the bay or cute boutiques. Amherst should be closed from Lamberti’s to tomatoes to walk and enjoy!

  13. We are 2nd homeowners who have a condo on Atlantic near Lucy. Our two cents…no boardwalk. I do not see what value this will bring to an already pristine and beautiful Margate beach. Extra policing, trash collection and upkeep/maintenance will definitely increase projected spending. We may be in the minority, and, anyway, we do not have a vote in this issue, but we think this is a waste of taxpayer money that would continue to incur expenses every year.

  14. It seems odd that something that will impact all of the Margate residents will be decided by only the full-time residents, leaving out a majority of those who pay taxes here. Perhaps, since the full-time residents are the ones to make the decision on this, the cost of both the engineering as well as building should go to them.

    1. Margate Charlie

      JD, it don’t matter because the full time residents are going to vote it down. 2nd homeowners love a boardwalk idea because they are out and about, riding bikes, jogging, and family outings. The year round folks are not doing this. Not all, but alot of them live in a beach town but never see the beach. We look at ourselves as homeowners but we are looked upon as visitors, except on tax day, then we are home owners and expected to do our part. Go back and read XXXX’s post, that person is running the same scare tactics as the mayor and crew are, I would not doubt he/she is a part of their group. There is no upside to a non commericial boardwalk like there is in a Congo falls or bay water park. (can’t squeeze money out of something that don’t make money)

  15. Sure, why not commercialize the beach a bit more? Having construction crews on the beach for months is fantastic! Nothing made my family happier than the blocked beaches of summer of 2017. We should also add more sewer pipes and trash cans while we’re at it too!

    1. I AGREE With you Avi 100%!!! I wish everyone would just leave us alone! We were happy with the way things were! We HAD beautiful big beaches to love and enjoy. No sewer pipes ruining our views and enjoyment. There were no useless dunes that you can’t see over until you climb over!! If people want something different then, by all means, GO SOMEPLACE ELSE and leave our beaches alone!

  16. If they want to build a boardwalk in Margate, then let there be parking on the beach blocks, so people can get there.

    Margate resident who doesn’t live on the beach block.

  17. Captain USN Retired

    Being year round residents of Margate and having grown up in Ventnor and Margate, my wife and I have noticed numerous signs either supporting or against a boardwalk in Margate City.

    There should be a means to have a true referendum that reflects the will of all the homeowners in Margate, and not just registered voters since any tax increase will affect all homeowners. Owners of the second homes should have a say even if they are disqualified from voting in Margate.

    Any feasibility study should include how a boardwalk will impact the all ready nightmare parking in the summer. The opening of the beach block to parking (as in Ventnor & Atlantic City) must be allowed. Why is parking on the beach block allowed in other shore town municipalities and not Margate?

    The true impact on property taxes must be identified prior to any final decision. Ideas such as a “boardwalk badge” equating to a user fee should be considered to offset any increase in taxes.

    The decision process must be open and fair to all homeowners to ensure no special interest group has undue influence.

    City leaders should develop a timely and effective mechanism of apprising all stakeholder throughout the decision-making process.

    1. Very wise feedback, Captain. Second homeowners should absolutely be able to vote on this very serious, impactful decision to our beloved town. And the possible consequences if the boardwalk gets “pushed through”, tax and otherwise.

  18. John Mc Laughlin

    To allow NJ 2nd home owners, that do not live year round & are not legally registered voters – NJ residents, and that do not file a NJ resident income tax return to vote, would take a state wide referendum on the ballot in a general election & a change of the NJ state constitution. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Do you ?

  19. I live in Ventnor and try to ride bike frequently on the boardwalk. It is nearly impossible on weekend mornings. The boardwalk is not wide enough for walkers who walk 4 across and a couple of bikes when they try to get by. It becomes dangerous . This is a just a point to consider when you discuss the boardwalk.

  20. Although a boardwalk may sound enticing, the cost has not been fully been estimated. Ask Ocean City, Ventnor and AC how much maintenance costs per block, per year. Ask the police chief and fire commissioner, and public works department how many more men and women they would need to service our community, and the annual cost per individual to be hired. Then ask yourselves if this is really what the ENTIRE community wants. I think not.
    Want to ride your bike or stroll on the boardwalk? It’s not that far away.

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