Some thoughts on the recent, Margate Planning Board meeting of Sept 27, 2018:
Residents just want better and clearer communication from Commissioners, Planning & School boards.
The legal notifications process. Applicants/developers must notify property owners within 200 ft of project. This process may be legal…but many believe that additional, broader notifications should be considered. Especially for projects that could affect entire city.
Margate NJ Planning Board Meeting Sept 27, 2018
In regards to legal notices: indeed, they’re the legal way to inform the public, but newspaper legal notices are no longer effective… as readership of Press of Atlantic City has dropped significantly.
Proposed solution: In addition to newspaper, City should post legal notices to the Margate municipal website. Easy to do, zero costs involved. Current Margate City website can do this.
Margate does excellent job of recording & posting audio from public meetings.
Margate meeting audio files are usually posted to city website within 24 hrs. Often sooner. They sound great. City Clerk does very good job of making sure that meeting attendees speak clearly into the microphone. Ventnor and Longport DO NOT provide this critical service to their taxpayers.
The final Margate Master Plan has finally been posted to the City website. Oddly, only a draft version of Master Plan was posted on the city website….up until last week. Current Margate Master Plan was finalized Spring 2017. What took so long to post the final version?
See final Margate Master Plan below.
Current Margate Master Plan was developed / amended over extended period of time. Residents still question why they weren’t aware…..or invited… to a number of ‘public stakeholder’ input meetings. Residents have asked specifically: When and where were the ‘public input’ meetings held?
Residents found it odd that those selected to author/develop the current Margate Master Plan, included individuals connected to gambling & hospitality concerns. ex: Spectrum Gaming Group and the Lloyd Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism.
Community still asking Margate Commissioners and Planning Board members, which residents were invited? When, where and who showed up?
Approx $200,000 cost for developing the Margate Master Plan. Residents ask: can we delete ‘hotel overlay zone’ from Master Plan? Can it be revisited? Some board members say no. Rich Patterson says: maybe it could be done.
Margate Zoning Official Roger McClarnon.
Rich Patterson, a CPA, often frustrated by citizen questions. Patterson read a report from Spectrum Gaming. Sees hotel overlay as a ‘dead issue’.
The Margate Homeowners Association (MHA) has assisted in pulling together local taxpayers. MHA playing greater role in steering direction of Margate. Residents, both full and part-time, paying closer attention. ex: recent development issues like golf course, potential water park, hotel overlay ordinance.
Tempers flared. Patterson and some board members accused of being rude & dismissive.
Unfounded accusations of criminal activity. Alleged kick-backs. Accused of having secret meetings.
Board feels like they’re being slandered. Patterson apologizes for sometimes being defensive and short with residents.
Concerns over Margate turning into more active / transient town.
We don’t read the Press of Atlantic City.
Citizens want additional ways to inform general public. Especially about substantial / potential projects like: golf course, hotel overlay zone, etc.
Rules to notify those within 200 ft of project. Effective & efficient? Residents don’t think so.
Simple solution: in addition to newspaper, just POST the legal notices on the City website as well. Simple. No cost. Effective.
Margate Planning Board Meetings. 4th Thursday of each month.
Resident: ‘You need a better web developer. Too hard to find stuff. We want input into things like the Master Plan.’
The current Margate Master Plan was finalized in SPRING 2017. It was finally posted to the municipal website in Sept 2018.
Amherst Ave Margate Water Park rumors.
Patterson: Some did know about it. But not officially as a board.
The potential water park operators recently bought a parcel of land / water on Amherst Ave.
About 3 years ago, they came to Patterson and Zoning officer Roger. They spoke with them, preliminary chat only.
They did NOT come in front of the Planning Board officially.
Golf course. Some residents, within 200 ft of project, claim to have NOT received notification.
Some critical issues being ping-ponged back n forth between Margate Commissioners & Planning Board.
Public not invited to master plan meetings? When and where were these Masterplan public input meetings held?
We need to improve communications.
Tear down a $200k house, put up a million dollar house in Margate.
Adding $40-$50 million in ratables to this town. (editor’s note: this keeps taxes flat, but what happens to those new monies?)
Patterson is correct. Margate excels at quickly posting audio of key meetings. This is still a rarity along the Jersey shore.