SEA ISLE CITY – Saying it would take an hour in February to travel the length of Pleasure Avenue at 15 miles per hour, Councilman Frank Edwardi voted Tuesday against an ordinance lowering the speed limit and making the ocean-most street on the island mostly one-way.
The law passed 4-1 with council agreeing with the opinion of the administration and the police department that the measure is necessary on a year-round basis.
“During the season, you definitely need it,” said Dan Tumolo, a resident of the 7400 block of Pleasure Avenue. “It’s a racetrack out there.”
Pleasure Avenue, which is heavily used by bicyclists, joggers and walkers as well as vehicles on summer mornings, will be one-way northbound from 31st to 34th streets, two-way between 79th and 85th streets, and one-way southbound for the remainder of the road.
Council members also argued at length over introducing an ordinance that would provide relief to homeowners seeking to build or repair enclosed outdoor showers. Councilman Bill Kehner said setback requirements will require the owners of 200 to 300 properties to seek expensive variances instead of building permits to do the work.
Councilwoman Mary Tighe, while sympathetic to those whose outdoor showers are located on undersized lots and therefore may need a variance to rebuild, said she would not support an ordinance allowing enclosed showers to encroach on setback requirements because she felt the measure would essentially encourage builders to continue overbuilding.
“We give builders an inch, and they take feet,” Tighe said. “This would just be them eating into space. We’re trying to fix a problem they created and I don’t want them to take advantage of it. Let’s not reward their bad behavior by giving them more.”
Council President John Divney agreed. “We have setbacks for a reason,” he said. “We are condoning bad behavior is what we’re doing.”
“They should build homes with the amenities people want on the available space,” Tighe said. “We live at the beach. An outside shower is important. They know what they’re doing. They make it nonconforming and they make it our problem.”
Divney said he was not prepared to introduce the ordinance as written and instructed city solicitor Paul Baldini to draft a more restrictive ordinance to be discussed at the May 16 council meeting.