Traffic, Parking Woes Feared With Proposed Beach Haven Hotel

By Eric Englund | Aug 14, 2019
Source: Supplied photo

Beach Haven — Although developer Christopher Vernon canceled a presentation before the Beach Haven Borough Council to discuss his proposed hotel, various people at Monday’s meeting wanted to discuss the matter, especially as it pertains to parking and traffic.

Vernon is looking to erect a restaurant and 102-room hotel at the vacant site of Morrison’s restaurant on Second Street at the bay. During an appearance before the council in the spring, he had proposed a three-story structure, with a height limit of 44 feet to the top of the hotel roof, with an elevator tower not to exceed a maximum height of 45 feet, 9 inches.

He had said the three-story design would enable the site to maintain the Ship’s Store building on the site 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. On the north bulkhead, he is planning to add a wharf bar and public access for fishing, crabbing and sunset watching.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said that in the past, Vernon’s presentations were mostly conceptual. She said he was ready to provide details about the building’s design, but instead decided to meet with the borough’s architectural review committee, which formed last year as part of changes to its master plan for zoning.

But on the minds of several residents during the public portion were concerns about traffic and parking.

“There was gridlock on the way to the meeting tonight,” said Janet Drew of Beach Haven Gardens. “If this can happen on a Monday, what is it going to be like here on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with many more cars coming to the hotel? It’s already bad right now.”

“It’s been a stressful year on Second Street because of all the traffic,” said Ann Smith. “You have to take your time and think about the impact this hotel would have on our community.”

Former borough Councilman Donald Kakstis said the borough should look into starting its own shuttle service.

“It would help get cars off the road,” he said. “You would have people taking the shuttle instead of driving a few blocks to get to a restaurant. I think this could really work, and we can get businesses behind it.”

Barb Cona said such an idea would be “a fairly tale.”

“The borough and the businesses don’t have the money,” she said.

But Cona, along with others, told officials to be “very careful” when deciding on the hotel plan.

“It’s going to have an impact on everything,” she said. “Parking is bad enough now. This could make it much worse.”  —E.E.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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