ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ – Second Avenue residents may soon be getting permits to park on their street. The Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council will meet tonight for a public hearing on an ordinance that would require residents to get a permit to park on their street.
The residential street borders the downtown business district and is near the Seastreak Ferry. 10 Ocean, a high-rise apartment building on Ocean Boulevard stands at the end of the block.
Mark Fisher, a resident of 3rd Avenue, has a daughter, Erica Fisher, a homeowner on Second Avenue who frequently has difficulty finding parking near her home. Mr. Fisher wrote to homeowners in October and described a study he had conducted of the parking situation on the short, one-way street. Second Avenue residents near Ocean Boulevard have complained that parking on the street is overburdened; with resident of the high-rise also parking on the street near their building because their landlord charges to park in the high-rise’s parking lot.
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Mr. Fisher showed data on current parking usage and observed that the parking problems are about to get much worse.
There are currently about 50 parking spaces on the street for the 19 single family homes. Most of the homes on the street have no driveway.
Last year, the Planning Board approved two large residential developments in the adjoining Historic Business District.
One project under construction in the business district will contain one floor for commercial use and three floors of residential units. Because the development is within 600 feet of a municipal parking lot the developer does not need to provide parking for his tenants under a municipal ordinance.
Residents, last year, warned the Planning Board that approval of a 4th floor for the planned 24 units of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments would cause a parking problem because the property contains an alleyway from the back of the building that spills onto Second Avenue. Tenants in the 24 units will likely use the back door and walk 100 feet to park on Second Avenue and not use the municipal lot, some 300 feet away. An additional 51 cars will be added from those in the building doubling the number of cars competing for parking on the street.
Mr. Fisher presented his findings at the October 21st workshop meeting of the Mayor and Council. It was recommended a committee meet to discuss solutions to the problem. Mr. Fisher met with Police Chief Jerry Vasto and developed an plan to permit parking for Second Avenue residents.
Under the proposed ordinance, 10-2016 (starting on page 28), residents of Second Avenue will pay for permits at $25 per registered vehicle plus $25 for one guest permit every two years. Each residence can have up to 3 temporary (72 hour) guest permits issued at no charge. All permits are issued by the police department.
Penalties are stiff. It starts with a parking fine of $50 plus for violating 2.9(A)(6) plus up to $150 fine for violating 2.9(B) (failing to display a permit) for the first offense and up to $300 for the second offense.
Some neighbors on the street have expressed concern in the Atlantic Highlands facebook group that this is a money grab that will impact their visitors who might forget to stop at the police station before visiting.
Valerie Barradale, of Bayview Avenue, wrote, “Boston does this as well. Well guess what, we’re not Boston. This disturbs me. And what’s the impact when you want to sell? Not cool!”
Brendan Lynch, Second Avenue, thinks the parking permits are a good idea. “I would gladly pay $100 for 2 years of trouble free parking!,” he wrote in the group.
The ordinance will be up for a public hearing and a vote at the Mayor and Council meeting tonight, Wednesday December 21 at 7:00 PM at Borough Hall, 100 First Avenue.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: Author lives on Second Avenue)