Sunrise Tequila Roof-Top Party Deck. Margate Special Meeting, MAY 15.

Margate Planning Board
Code Officer McLarnon, Solicitor Abbott

On Wednesday May 15, the Margate Planning Board will address non-compliant development at 9700 Ventnor Ave in Margate, better known as the Sunrise Tequila, Roof Top Party Deck project.

Owners of the property and business are Dana Hiltner (Hartman) and Brian Hiltner.

Thomas Baglivo is the project architect.

Neighbors are concerned about a lowering of home values. A late night, noisy, roof top bar could bring chaos to this quiet part of town.


During the Jan. 25, 2024 public comment, developer Steve Baglivo spoke in favor of the Sunrise Tequila roof-top party deck.

Also on Jan. 25, Margate Business Chamber President Ed Berger said home values are lower when properties are located near bars. Berger should know, he lives near Maynard’s on Amherst Ave.

Listen to Jan 25 Planning Board Mtg about SUNRISE.

Margate developer not following approved construction site-plans. Owners already fined $2,000 for allegedly ignoring a work stoppage order.

NOTE: Mayor Mike Collins selects all members of the Margate Planning Board.

Margate Fact Check: Property will double business capacity. Parking requirements waived. No ‘enclosure’ for trash. Substantially greater noise levels from roof-top speakers, DJ and live entertainment. Security will be an issue. Concerns about drunken crowds lingering at closing time.

Listen to former Margate Mayor Vaughn Reale discuss Planning Board nepotism issues on WPG Radio. May 2023. LISTEN >

Selective of enforcement of Margate zoning law?

Margate Planning Board’s Tom Collins: Everybody’s leaving the island. Professional services, banks, gas stations are leaving the island.

Margate Mayor Michael Collins
Mayor Mike Collins of Margate.

Mayor Collins upset with all the bad press coverage he’s getting. Claims this is nothing but ‘mis-information’.

Esteemed Margate Solicitor, John Scott Abbott joked that Mayor Collins prefers Tik-Tok for reliable news.

Margate Transparency.

Margate Mayor Mike Collins pledged to bring greater transparency to Margate City. Is Collins fulfilling that pledge?

Listen to Harry Hurley from WPG Radio as he interviews candidate Mike Collins from MAY 2023.

Instead of minor changes, setbacks and upgrades, the Sunrise Tequila project morphed into a complete demolition, and a totally new construction project.

Major development of a bar-restaurant with roof-top party deck. Adjacent to residential neighborhoods. Live music, full bar and late night fun for upwards of 150+ patrons. Sorry, no parking.

Margate Approves Rooftop Deck For Sunrise Wine & Tequila Bar

Margate Planning Board Accused Of Spot Zoning

Note: Margate Planning Board blocks live ZOOM video access to their meetings.


20 thoughts on “Sunrise Tequila Roof-Top Party Deck. Margate Special Meeting, MAY 15.”

  1. I am not surprised that this project is being pushed through for the Mayor’s top political contributors and one of the old boys.

    Let’s not even mention Steve Baglivo at his Margate gardens property. Forget what he said he was going to build and it is on audio tape.

    He can do what he wants because he is one of the boys too.

    Pay to Play is alive and well in Margate NJ. Just ask our Solicitor and Mayor.

    Tequila Bar owners were told by order to stop building and they violated the order by accepting delivery and erecting steel beams just recently.

    No additional fines? Oh, They can do what they want too. Pay to play. The rules do not apply to you?

    The current C2 zoning does not state that an entertainment property is allowed in that section of Margate.

    This is spot zoning for friends.

    The community needs to come together to stop this project or more areas of Margate will be destroyed by The Boys.

    No Zoom access to meetings? Just another campaign empty promise.

    This is all going on and they are not even in office 1 year.

    Look out Margate taxpayers.

  2. How's it possible?

    Can someone explain how this one attorney seemingly represents almost every shady developer in Margate?

  3. Greedy thieves. Whether it’s this issue or sober living or something else. The corrupt political nature is ubiquitous in most towns. Stop voting for these people!

    1. I might be mistaken but isn’t that area the commercial district. The article says “quiet part of town” but the Margate Dairy is 1 block away and there is a auto repair shop next door.

  4. I feel bad for people living on that side of the Island. I always wanted to be in that area until I found a home on the other side of town. I hope it all works out!!

  5. Pretty sure an open air rooftop lounge enlarges previous existing non-conforming structure. See Below.

    Between this, and if entertainment is allowed in this zone, this may be beyond a Planning Board decision. Maybe a legal court room decision instead.

    Per Margate Code: 175-37 Nonconforming uses, structures and lots. Restoration of existing buildings or structures nonconforming for reasons other than use.

    Whenever a building is nonconforming because it fails to comply with any height, area, yard, off-street parking or other like requirements of this article, other than use, and such building is partially destroyed, such building may be restored to its prior condition; provided, however, that such restoration shall not enlarge the previously existing nonconformance.

    [Amended 11-20-2012 by Ord. No. 20-2012; 4-4-2013 by Ord. No. 08-2013]

  6. This guy Michael Collins is about as useful as **** on a bull. Only in it for his big campaign donors.

    [Collin’s hardware store] is big time profitable on all this Margate development.

    Regardless, more OPRA requests are coming to a city hall near you.

  7. What was result of request for variance (Assuming protocol was followed) sent to those property owners within that specific neighborhood? Percentage opposed?

    Will those opposed be heard?

    Are written statements considered or must they physically appear?

    That. in my opinion, should decide the issue or why even bother with the registered mailing.

    Parking on already crowded side streets will be terrible if not restricted as it was for the old Surfside in the 80s

    1. How many of the 150 customers at a time will be driving (and hence parking) there? Likely few based on many walking, or taking a Lyft or Uber as they will be drinking.

      The huge fake drama and exaggeration on here is as pathetic as it is comical.

      1. Ms. Nope:

        Where are you getting your numbers from? Throwing around random numbers as facts is pathetic, but more importantly, comical.

        If you are going to waste time posting a comment, why not come armed with facts to help build and/or support your position?

        Maybe Steve and Cookies should get rid of their parking lot since no one drives to eat or drink.

        Finally, why do you believe this is “huge fake drama?”

      2. Most people will drive. I live near Steve and Cookies which has a parking lot. Usually the bay has no open spaces so there is always people looking for parking

  8. Someone needs to bring a lawsuit against Margate over this and Baglivo’s 12-unit boondoggle.

    They take us all for fools while they line their pockets! I imagine secret meetings where they laugh at the lowly residents who are powerless to prevent this graft and corruption.

  9. I like the idea of a roof top bar and restaurant. However, the current Master plan does not state that an entertainment venue is to be promoted in Margate’s CBD districts.

    Bars, yes.

    The current Master Plan clearly states that it’s objective is to protect our current residential neighborhoods.

    The current C2 zoning does not state that entertainment venues are allowed in the CBD.(Central business district.)

    Therefore, why is there even a matter before ou6 planning board to approve such a venue?

    It violates the current zoning and does not protect the enjoyment of the residents who own homes in the area of the proposed Tequila Bar.

    Why was work started prior to submission of plans and approval for this venue?

    Why was a stop work order issued and a fine levied , yet steel was delivered and constructed in violation of the stop work order.

    Margate Taxpayers need to come out in force to share your opinions regarding this matter.

    This post is not about whether we would enjoy a roof top entertainment venue.

    It is about following the Master plan and zoning allowances.

    1. Thanks you Jay for leading us. Yur tranparentcy and honesty is what Margate needs. Wish you would have been elected. You are like Batman.

  10. Four members of the Planning board approved the new plans. Their reasoning was based on the “hardship” presented to the developers for the need to reinforce the structure and add trash facilities.

    So in essence the developers get away with violating codes and permits and on top of that get approved variances.

    I guess the way to get what you want in Margate is to do someone wrong then claim hardship because you have to correct the errors.

    Thankfully at least one Planning board member voted NO.

  11. I own a summer home in Margate for the last 40 years. Pay hefty taxes and not allowed to vote.

    Listen to the insults all the time about us shoobies.

    Maybe, if you permanent residents could get your act together you would not have voted the people in charge, which you constantly complain screw you.

    As far as I’m concerned, you got what you deserve. This whole Tequila Bar, 12 unit condo, parking, etc. is a disgrace.

    Maybe you should consider letting us part time owners a vote.

    Things could not be any worse.

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