Long Beach Township on Friday, Sept 21, tabled a proposed ordinance allowing 100% IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE throughout its commercial district. SBB spearheaded opposition.
– Read about it in the Press of Atlantic City.
Here is the Press of Atlantic City account of the meeting at which the 100% impervious cover ordinance was tabled. Save Barnegat Bay thanks Long Beach Township for reconsidering this matter as well as Clean Ocean Action and the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program for rallying around the issue.
Long Beach Township tables plan to let businesses pave entire properties
By DONNA WEAVER Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2007
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP – An ordinance that would allow businesses to cover 100 percent of their land with buildings and pavement that won’t let water through was tabled at the Board of Commissioners’ regular meeting Friday afternoon.
Officials proposed the law to help create a business friendly environment, according to Mayor DiAnne Gove.
Since 2003, only six new businesses have come to Long Beach Township, Gove said.
Of the more than 8,000 properties in the township fewer than 2 percent are commercial, Commissioner Ralph Bayard said.
“We’re talking about a limited amount of land, assuming people will even cover the land,” Bayard said.
The real problem, Bayard told the crowd, may be the 8,832 residential properties where the town allows 75 percent coverage.
“We don’t have a tremendous amount of businesses,” Gove said. “It is important to protect all of our waterways.”
Save Barnegat Bay spoke out against the ordinance by sending a letter to the township stating that impervious coverage limits are the heart of water quality protection for Barnegat Bay.
Allowing the township’s huge commercial district to completely pave over its acreage would deal a devastating blow to a bay that is already under great ecological stress, according to Willie deCamp Jr., chairman of Save Barnegat Bay.
Karen Hershey, spokeswoman for NJ Department of Environmental Protection, said Friday that the deparment could not comment on the ordinance without speaking to the township and finding out about its stormwater management plan.
“We haven’t spoke with Long Beach Township about this. We really wouldn’t want to comment any further on this,” Hershey said.
Representatives from Clean Ocean Action were at the meeting Friday to speak against the ordinance and stress the importance of protecting the local waterways.
Anna Will, pollution prevention coordinator for Clean Ocean Action, said the group knows the township is concerned about the runoff going into Barnegat Bay. In the recent past, Long Beach Township has introduced a great storm water management plan, Will said.
“This ordinance contradicts what they’ve done in their storm water management plan,” Will said. “We would be eager to work with the township in making some adjustments to the proposed ordinance.”
Clean Ocean Action understands the township’s concerns for having more businesses but that there are better ways to do it, Will said.
“There are plenty of ways you can get more parking spaces like using porous pavement instead of using impervious coverage. Allowing 100 percent impervious coverage sets a bad precedent for the whole island,” said Will.
To e-mail Donna Weaver at The Press:
Links by inform.com
Here’s Save Barnegat Bay’s release and letter to Long Beach Township opposing the proposed ordinance:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2007
Contact: William deCamp Jr. 732-830-3600
100% IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE
FOR ENTIRE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT
As the subjoined letter from Save Barnegat Bay to Mayor Dianne Gove describes, Long Beach Township on Friday, September 21 at 4 PM may deal a devastating blow to the ecology of Barnegat Bay by enacting a 100% impervious coverage ordinance in their sprawling commercial district.
The current impervious cover limitation is already 75%. By one accounting Long Beach Township has 17,000 linear feet of commercial road frontage.
Save Barnegat Bay urges all citizens to oppose this ordinance.
Long Beach Township
6805 Long Beach Boulevard
Brant Beach, New Jersey, 08008
September 17, 2007
Mayor Diane Gove
Long Beach Township
6805 Long Beach Blvd
Brant Beach, NJ 08008
Dear Mayor Gove,
It has come to the attention of Save Barnegat Bay that on Friday, September 21 at 4 PM, Long Beach Township is will consider on second reading passage of Ordinance 07-36C, which would provide:
“that impervious lot coverage applies only to residential lots and not to commercial lots.”
Save Barnegat Bay adamantly opposes passage of this ordinance.
Impervious coverage limitations are the heart of water quality protection for Barnegat Bay. By allowing Long Beach Township’s huge commercial district to completely pave over its acreage, Long Beach Township would deal a devastating blow to a bay that is already under great ecological stress.
When rainwater seeps into the soil on the property on which it falls, much of the polluting excess nitrogen in the rain water is removed by plant materials. In addition the flow of particulates, heavy metals, and fecal coliform into the bay is reduced by limiting impervious coverage.
As the largest township on Long Beach Island, Long Beach has an extremely great impact on Barnegat Bay’s water quality.
We urge the township to reject this environmentally backward ordinance. Please do not harm a precious resource by recklessly discarding one of its most essential environmental safeguards.
William deCamp Jr., Chairman
Save Barnegat Bay