Compass rose in Ventnor City Hall.


VENTNOR – After hearing from Police Chief Douglas Biagi and a local resident contractor who received a ticket, the Board of Commissioners Aug. 26 agreed to review its regulations on overnight parking for commercial vehicles in residential zones. The board also introduced three new ordinances regulating the building of bulkheads.

The city has an ordinance prohibiting the overnight parking of commercial vehicles, but it is only enforced when someone complains, Biagi said. In that case, the Police Department will issue a warning, but not a ticket, unless the person fails to move the vehicle.

“This is one of those ordinances that rears its ugly head every once in a while,” he said.

A resident complains and the problem “snowballs” when the commercial vehicle owner is ticketed, he said.

Biagi said he understands both sides of the issue and sympathizes with residents who feel having commercial vehicles parking on city streets overnight degrades their neighborhood. He also understands the impact the ordinance has on home-based contractors who are trying to make ends meet during difficult times.

“Some neighborhoods are more tolerant than others,” Biagi said. “The majority of the city does not care, but we have the ordinance on our books.”

The ordinance, which was last revised in 1988, may need to be “narrowed” in scope, he said.

The ordinance also addresses boat trailers, campers and jitneys, which are not permitted to park on city streets overnight.

Mayor Beth Holtzman said some contractor work trucks are no larger than a big SUV.

The ordinance is a problem for residents who are contractors and who also use their work trucks as their personal vehicle.

“The ordinance is so open ended and broad that any person with a vendetta for someone else could use it against them,” Biagi said.

Resident Robert John Hermley-Keen, who lives on Wissahickon Avenue, has three construction vehicles, all of which are parked on the street. One parked in his driveway overhangs his neighbor’s property because it is wider than most trucks. Since he received a warning and then was ticketed, one of his employees takes another truck home.

He said the city does not provide a parking lot for contractors like some other towns do. He said he needs to park close to his home to protect his livelihood and that 99% of his work is in Ventnor and Margate, which are experiencing building booms.

“Acme is not a very safe place to leave $20,000 worth of tools in a truck,” he said.

The board agreed to allow Biagi to research and come to an “equitable” conclusion on what can be done to accommodate home-based contractors.

“The problem is limited, but at this moment in time it affects him and a bunch of other construction workers,” trying to make a living, Biagi said. “There is room for improvement and adjustment.”

Biagi suggested Hermley-Keen find alternative places to park until the city can come up with a way to revise the ordinance.

Commissioner Lance Landgraf said he would review ordinances from other towns.

In other business, the board introduced three ordinances regulating the construction of bulkheads on private property. Revisions to Ordinance 2021-019 delete the sections regulating the construction of bulkheads and seawalls on private property.

The revision requires the creation of a whole new Ordinance 2021-017 of Chapter 103 of the City Code, which sets out the procedures for obtaining permits, following federal and state guidelines, and minimum specifications for building bulkheads at elevation 8 feet, unless the adjacent bulkhead is built at a higher elevation.

The new ordinance requires bayfront property owners to properly maintain their bulkheads and replace deteriorated bulkheads that pose a danger to surrounding properties during flooding events, or when substantial work is being done on the property.

A third ordinance sets the fees for a bulkhead application at $250, and a $2,000 escrow for bulkhead repairs or construction.

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Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.