A vacant parcel of Ventnor land sitting empty for the past decade could soon become a green, open space oasis. But will it pay property taxes?
The proposed Ventnor Memory Park (VMP) received an assortment of zoning and variance approvals from the Ventnor Planning Board on Sept. 24.
Also known as a ‘pocket park’, the VMP wants to energize the North Beach section of the city, near the corner of Ventnor & Nashville Ave.
Video by We Love Ventnor
A quasi-public project, Ventnor Memory Park has three board members.
During this meeting, Ventnor Commissioner Landgraf needed to recuse himself. He had to step away in order to avoid potential conflict of interest.
Ventnor Memory Park; a small, green oasis in an urban environment.
- Locked gate with 8-foot tall iron fence surrounding the park.
- Motion sensors and lighting for security.
- WIFI video surveillance system possibly connected to Ventnor PD.
- Keyless entry system. Double-gated entry.
- Identifiable user groups.
- Splash pad, fountains, gazebo, shed, speakers.
- Suitable for yoga, puppy training, small business events, parent/kid romps, etc.
The Ventnor Memory Park team still must provide a full site-plan to Ventnor City planner, Roger McLarnon.
Ventnor resident, Paula DeLuca, providing no-interest loan for construction of pocket park.
Goal: have it open by Summer of 2019.
User fees, sponsorship, naming rights and donations will hopefully maintain the park, and help pay back the loan.
Construction of the Ventnor Memory Park has an estimated cost of $500,000. If not self-sustaining after 5 years, the property could be sold. Proceeds of that sale would be donated to another New Jersey non-profit.
DeLuca says the Ventnor Memory Park will energize the neighborhood.
Research shows it could increase property values. The Ventnor Planning Board was not prepared to discuss tax exempt status though. The re-development & Master Plans of Ventnor, calls for stuff like that. It’s a function of Ventnor regulation.
Ventnor Planning Board. They can over-rule the taxing power? (assessor)
Ventnor Planning Board: Really? No cost to city? Does it meet Ventnor REDEV plan, goals, Masterplan?
It’s a wonderful thing……kinda shocked that it wants tax exempt status. We didn’t get advanced notice of that.
Ventnor Planning Board Chairman Jay Cooke: City loses portion of tax base? In a way, city is paying for the park. DeLuca shot back: Energizers and enhancer of adjacent economies. Positive impact on ratables. Synergizer bunnies.
VMP Atty DeLucry: if you didn’t OK non-profits, you wouldn’t have churches, etc. These things boost the value of community, desirability of neighborhood.
Ventnor Planning Board member, Roman Zabihach, pushed back the most on VMP.
DeLuca: Ventnor Memory Park presenting itself as a ‘decorative table in the front foyer, to up-class the image of the town.’
Possible next steps:
- VMP submits comprehensive, detailed site-plan
- Determination of tax exempt status.
Full video of meeting here: