MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Thursday, June 7 on an ordinance that would vacate a 3-foot by 100-foot strip of land in the Amherst Avenue right of way to accommodate the development of Harbor Bay, LLC formerly known as Capt. Andy’s marina.
Amherst Avenue resident Ed Berger spoke against approving the vacation because a bayfront promenade proposed as part of the city’s Master Plan has not been funded, he said.
Sean and Jamie Gormley purchased the site last year and on Feb. 22 received Planning Board approvals to expand the existing footprint by 2,600 square feet and rebuild the marina with 34 slips, a bait shop, 4,000-square-foot insurance office and a 149-seat restaurant with no additional onsite parking.
The Board of Commissioners also amended its zoning map to make the former Riparian zone part of the Waterfront Special District, which permits restaurants, retail and residences to be constructed at three existing properties along the landward side of the bulkhead without the need for variances.
Harbor Bay agreed to replace the city-owned bulkhead at its own cost.
Taking another 300 square feet from the parking area will accommodate the proposed promenade but would also “significantly increase the danger” for residents and pedestrians, and exacerbate a parking shortage in the marina district, Berger said.
The commission also introduced an ordinance to grant an easement for Atlantic City Electric to install an electric pole to feed power to the bayside of Amherst Avenue.
Berger said the electric pole that currently provides service to the marina area is located between two buildings and is unobtrusive, but the new pole will be located directly in front of his property at Harbor Vista townhouses.
“We now have two 50-foot buildings and what is going to be a very obtrusive power pole directly across the street from us if you grant the easement,” Berger said. “My neighbors and I have gotten a little bit of the shaft I would not like to get the pole as well.”
He asked the city to explore other ways to power the area.
Harbor Bay builder Mark Gallagher said although the pole is not needed to feed power to the Harbor Bay, Gormley agreed to pay the additional cost for underground service. However, Atlantic City Electric’s engineering requirements mandate the pole be erected to support a continuing line of electric poles on Amherst Avenue.
“We were willing to spend thoausands of extra dollars to not have that pole there,” Gallagher said.
“For me, I am satisfied you have done your due diligence to protect not only yourselves but the neighbors,” Commissioner Maury Blumberg said.
He suggested the neighbors take the issue up with Atlantic City Electric.
Public hearings on the ordinances will be held at Historic City Hall, 1 S. Washington Ave. at 5 p.m. A work session precedes the meeting at 4 p.m.