Ordinance Endorses Three-Story Hotel Plan in Beach Haven

By ERIC ENGLUND | May 15, 2019
Source: Supplied Photo

Beach Haven — An ordinance introduced by the Beach Haven Borough Council endorses a plan by the developer of the proposed restaurant and 102-room hotel at the vacant site of Morrison’s Restaurant to build a three-story structure. According to the ordinance, the height limit would be 44 feet to the top of the hotel roof, with an elevator tower not to exceed a maximum height of 45 feet, 9 inches.

During a presentation last month, developer Christopher Vernon said the three-story building would enable the site to maintain the Ship’s Store building and add gardens and other amenities.

He said the hotel would provide a guest shuttle for the beach and activities in the area, and would also have guest parking on the ground level of the hotel. On the north bulkhead, he is planning to add a wharf bar and public access for fishing, crabbing and sunset watching.

The two-story concept would stay within the 35-foot height requirements in the marine commercial zone.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said the taller alternative would create 5,000 square feet of additional space.

“The building with the smaller height would have to cover a lot more ground,” she said. “I like this because we can keep the Ship’s Store and the marina services intact.”

Councilwoman Jaime Baumiller voted against the ordinance, preferring to stick with the 35-height limit.

“When you look at the old hotels, they were built with a lot of open space around them,” she said. “This will be built in an area with many other buildings nearby.”

Although the ordinance will be up for public hearing at the June 10 council meeting, Davis allowed for public comment following introduction. Residents John Harvey and Michael Peler both suggested that the hotel plan be put up for referendum.

“I’ve heard it said that 90 percent of the people in town want this hotel,” said Harvey. “Put it up for a vote.”

Peler said the hotel would change the character of Beach Haven.

“People come here because of the small-town charm,” he said. “This is too much, too soon. It’s going to feel like mid-town Manhattan during the summer.” —E.E.

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