ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The mayor and council tonight passed an ordinance requiring permit parking on 2nd Avenue. The new ordinance will take effect April 1st.
Residents on the short one way street near the town's business district have complained about difficulty finding parking near their homes. A high rise building standing at the end of the block charges its tenants to park onsite. The tenants instead park on the public streets or municipal parking lots to save the $35 monthly fee the landlord charges for parking. Many of them park on 2nd Avenue, near Ocean Boulevard, making competition for parking on that end of the street very difficult.
The matter will get worse when a 4-story apartment building, approved by the planning board last year, is constructed in the adjoining historic business district. 23 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments will be constructed with an alley entrance off 2nd Avenue. There are currently about 50 parking spaces on the street for the 19 single-family homes. Most of the century old homes on the street have no driveway. The new residential development, due for completion in 2017, would add an additional 50 plus cars competing for parking on the street.
Residents complained that the new ordinance puts all the burden on them for fees and inconvenience to their guests for an issue created outside the residential zone.
This author, a resident of 2nd Avenue and a former member of the Planning Board, suggested to the council that an ordinance should be adopted that puts the onus on the Historic Business District and the Multi-family District, where the highrise, 10 Ocean, is located.
It was noted that the town has a development regulation which states if a new development is within 600 feet of a municipal parking lot, it has meet its parking requirements for development.
The town has approved more than 50 new residential units in the Historic Business District on First Avenue with two new projects that will soon be under construction. Each relied on the municipal parking lot on Railroad Avenue to meet their parking requirements.
An additional residential building project, a block away in the Central Business District on Hennessey Boulevard, is nearing completion and will soon be available on the market. This also relied on the municipal lot to meet its parking requirements.
It was suggested at tonight's meeting that an ordinance could be written to require residents in the Historic Business District and in the (MF-2) Multi-Family zones to park in the municipal lot.
Business Administrator Adam Hubeney said the Master Plan was currently being re-examined and the suggestion to restrict residents in the Historic Business District to park in the provided municipal parking was already being considered, but no ordinance is forthcoming.
The Second Avenue Parking Permit ordinance was passed with amendments. There will be no fees to 2nd Avenue residents for the resident or guest permits. The ordinance will go into effect April 1. Each vehicle registered to a 2nd Avenue residence will receive a permit and each residence will receive one guest permit. Additional temporary (72 hr) guest permits may be issued, but the homeowner will have to go to police HQ to sign for them.
Residents had asked that the proposed ordinance be table for a month until 2nd Avenue residents had a chance to meet and discuss it. A few residents, though aware of the parking situation, said they had just learned about the ordinance a week prior and would like a chance to discuss it. None of the residents were part of the deliberations that came up with the proposed ordinance. The residents were told that the ordinance could later be amended if the residents had other ideas.
Councilmen Jacob "Jake" Hoffmann, Charles "Chuck" Lero and Roy Dellosso voted no, saying they would like to hear more from the residents. Mayor Rhonda "Randi" Le Grice cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the ordinance 4-3, along with Councilmen John "Jack" Archibald, Louis Fligor and Peter Doyle.