EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Township officials are expected to allow residents to raise their homes without having to worry about the homes now poking through building height restrictions.
Updated flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency mean as many as 300 township homes are in the velocity zone, and will have to be elevated, Township Administrator Peter Miller said. About two-thirds are in the West Atlantic City section of the township on Lakes Bay.
The township introduced an ordinance Wednesday that would measure building heights from the first floor for these homes, rather than the ground. This would allow homeowners to not count any new piling toward the total building height.
Mayor James "Sonny" McCullough said the public hearing and final vote on the ordinance is expected at the March 27 meeting.
Without this change, homeowners and others would have to seek a separate approval from the township's Zoning Board of Adjustment, which could cost several thousand dollars in different costs and fees.
Most of the township's homes are in zones that limit them to 35 feet, Miller said, or about the height of a 21/2-story building.
This snag came to the township's attention shortly after FEMA proposed in December and Gov. Chris Christie adopted in January new Advisory Base Flood Elevation maps.
Monday's Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting includes a proposal by the builders of Bayport on Lake's Bay, developers Matzel & Mumford at Egg Harbor, LLC. The Planning Board granted them a variance in 2003 to build the townhouse/condominium project at 33 feet, 3 feet higher than the 30-foot limit for apartments in that zone.
But the FEMA flood maps raised the base flood elevations from 7.7 to 10 feet.
As a result, Matzel & Mumford seek permission to build five buildings, with 37 units, to 36 feet, three feet higher.
Company officials did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.
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