ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The governing body will introduce ordinances at their July meeting to establish Bed and Breakfast inns in the borough.  The joint Planning/Zoning Board began discussions a year and a half ago about the possibility of allowing Bed and Breakfast businesses to operate in town.  A subcommittee of the board explored ordinances from Ocean Grove, Cape May, and Highlands and developed their own proposed ordinances based on Department of Community Affairs regulations.  The draft ordinances were prepared by the planning board subcommittee and presented to the council who will introduce them at their July 13 meeting.

One ordinance would permit a Bed and Breakfast use, subject to a Use Variance from the Planning Board in the R-1, R-2, R-3, Office-Resident, Historic Business District and Central Business District zones.  The other ordinance would define the licensing procedures and fine schedule.  

According to Councilman Louis Fligor, also a member of the subcommittee and Planning Board, the objective of the regulations is to ensure that the ordinance has teeth.  "We didn't want people to think we were going to allow boarding houses or animal houses."  Among the rules: the building must be owner-occupied, There must be non-tandem off-street parking on the property with one stall for each room that is let. There must be one common room of at least 300 square feet in area.   Signs may not be placed at the curb. Signage can be no more than 2 by 3 feet in size and will be located close to the building.  Any illumination of the sign must not spill into neighboring properties.  

"You're going to spend a significant amount of money to bring buildings up to code to be a bed and breakfast and to meet DCA requirements," Mr. Fligor said.

Highlands has four bed and breakfast establishments. Mr. Fligor anticipates two to four B&B's will ultimately be licensed in Atlantic Highlands.

A couple residents have expressed interest in opening B&B's, according to Mr. Fligor - one on South Avenue near Bowne Road, and another located on Ocean Boulevard.

The ordinances will be introduced at the July 13 mayor and Council meeting and have a second reading, public hearing and possible adoption on August 10, 2011 at Borough Hall, First Avenue.