Would Margate be better with a boardwalk? Here’s the top 5 reasons why Margate needs to rebuild it’s beloved boardwalk by the sea.
#1. Fix problems caused by Margate dune project of 2017
The one-size-fits-all beach & dune project took a beautiful Margate beachscape and cut it in half by piling a mountain of sand almost 14 ft high along the beach.
Not only did those dunes kill amazing ocean views, but it made access to the beach far more difficult. Especially for those with walking challenges.
A Margate boardwalk would solve both of those issues brought on by the state mandated dune system.
Of course, Margate already had a robust bulkhead system but that didn’t matter to then NJ Gov, Chris Christie.
Everyone was forced to get an expensive, marginally helpful mountain of sand dumped on their beaches every 3 years.
Is Margate on the hook for the next 50 years, paying for periodic sand pumping whether needed or not?
Margate dunes are approx 14 ft. high. 75 ft wide. They run the length of Margate’s coast between Longport and Ventnor.
The new dune cut our beautiful beach in half. This created a useless ‘dead zone’ between the dune and street-end bulkheads. Almost half the beach is now wasted space.
#2. Margate Planning Board forgot about public gathering spots.
Every town needs a town square. A large, scenic spot to gather, walk, bike or sit. Margate doesn’t really have one of these.
A boardwalk would fill this void. Why not make it easy to enjoy Margate’s prime asset; the beach & ocean?
The Margate Planning Board primarily focuses on matters related to real estate development, zoning, land-use & building. That’s not surprising since many on the Planning Board are well-connected to construction and other real estate related services.
Margate’s population includes many 60+ yr. olds. That number sure to grow larger. The Margate Planning Board needs put more thought into this group.
Controversial mini-golf courses and water parks are fine, but a low-key boardwalk is not?
#3. Easy access to Margate beaches. Critical for those w/ walking challenges.
The Margate dunes make it much more difficult for residents to reach the water’s edge.
Much tougher to traverse the ‘dead zone’. The large area between the bulkheads and the dunes. Once past that, you then need to climb over a 14 ft dune. It’s exhausting.
Ramps from street-end bulkheads to the boardwalk can help provide easy access from the Boardwalk to the beach itself.
Ramping solves the access problem. Makes it easier for those with walking issues, and families with children, wagons, strollers, etc.
Margate’s new Boardwalk would have ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant ramps from the street ends to the boardwalk.
#4. Increase of Margate public safety.
A new Boardwalk would greatly enhance both safety and security along this part of the Downbeach area.
A Boardwalk would help get pedestrians, bikes, runners and skaters off of busy Atlantic Ave. (4 lanes of pedestrian hazard)
Much like any other street, a Boardwalk would feature police patrols. Emergency vehicles would have faster, life-saving access to the beach.
Glenn Klotz: The high dunes block all visual access to the beach front and ocean. It’s am increased security risk for anyone swimming alone, walking or sitting. It’s a large open space that’s difficult to police.
A boardwalk would be beautifully lit at night. Latest tech provides for targeted light that respects the surrounding environment. It would almost always have someone walking on it.
It’s a fact: lights and people improve public safety. Surveillance cameras add even more benefit.
#5. Smart investment for future of Margate. Strong ROI.
Investment in roads, schools and municipal infrastructure. Without them, a local economy wouldn’t survive. Investments like these increase attractiveness of a town. Boosting perceived value. Business wants to set up shop here.
A boardwalk is one such investment. While not cheap, it pays off big time. A substantial return on investment. Example: building boom along Ventnor Boardwalk.
Margate ratables (a tax revenue metric) increase by almost $30mil each year. This most certainly could help pay for a boardwalk. It certainly plays a large role in borrowing capacity.
According to the Boardwalk Committee’s Glenn Klotz, Margate has an excellent bond rating. This comes from increasing demand from second homeowners. Margate can easily raise money in the bond market for capital improvements like a Boardwalk.
A new Margate Boardwalk would be eligible to receive various types of grants from the Federal Government, State of NJ, and regional authorities like the CRDA & others.
These possible grants, along with Margate’s excellent financial condition, would offset the many future costs of building and maintaining a Boardwalk.
Combining the two Margate schools is another way to help fund a boardwalk. Shut one of the buildings down and sell it off. Margate doesn’t need 2 schools, and duplicated staffing for 350 students.
Cash donations and sponsorship of benches & pavilions could help defray cost as well.
The Boardwalk referendum question is NOT binding. It’s purely to determine the general interest in Margate having a boardwalk. It does NOT commit the city to finance and build a boardwalk. It does not force the city to spend funds on engineering and permitting plans.
We’re just taking the voter’s temperature on this Boardwalk issue. nothing more, nothing less.Glenn Klotz
Why should I vote YES on the ballot referendum?
A YES vote provides guidance to the City Commissioners. It tells them to, at least, explore the idea of building a new, Margate boardwalk. Nothing more.
A YES referendum vote does not build a boardwalk. It doesn’t raise taxes. It’s a non-binding voter question simply asking whether they’d like to consider a Boardwalk someday.
It’s purpose is to gauge the public interest in having a Boardwalk in Margate. The 3 Commissioners are not bound by the outcome. It’s better to vote YES.
Who opposes a Margate Boardwalk?
According to Glenn Klotz of the Margate Boardwalk Committee, those who oppose a boardwalk are largely second homeowners that live along the beachfront. Some believe they control (through riparian rights) the beach & sand in front of their homes.
This small group possesses great wealth. They seems to have heavy influence on key Margate politicians and city board members.
Note: the beach is considered a public park. A boardwalk is considered a public thru-way, sidewalk and/or street.
A new Boardwalk in Margate would be built safely behind and slightly above the existing man-made dune. Most of the boardwalk structure would be well over 250 ft from the closest house.
Mayor Becker, Commissioners Amodeo & Blumberg, along with Solicitor Abbott are on the hot seat over a questionable beach & dune deal with the State of NJ. Margate taxpayers could be on the financial hook for even more, unwanted dredging & sand-pumping.
Margate taxpayers may soon foot the bill for back-bay dredging that benefits few.
Recently, Mayor Becker of Margate has defended the spending of millions on an Amherst Ave project called the ‘promenade’, that largely benefits private business. ex: water park, Lamberti’s, marinas, etc.
Margate Boardwalk Committee
Margate is better with a Boardwalk
Sharon Saprone It would be an asset for our community. I don’t want to debate it. I’m voting yes. Taxes on an average home will probably go up $300-$400 per year. It’s worth it. I heard the “YES to Boardwalk” signs were being stolen.
Joe Singer A boardwalk will make beach access easier for seniors and those with disabilities. Ramps will help too. It will improve safety by getting better EMS access and police visibility to the beach. It will likely improve business and overall land values. A lot of fun too!
Jake Jacobs: Margate residents deserve a lovely, non-commercial beach-boardwalk promenade. $200-250 a year per home? So for the cost of a Friday dinner at Tomato’s, I get a boardwalk to enjoy for the whole year? No-brainer. The ‘No New Taxes’ campaign is a bunch of smoke and mirrors to conceal real reason behind ‘no-boardwalk’ organization.
Big city health and crime issues are pushing families to live in smaller towns like
Margate and Ventnor. See Downbeach Home Sales .