WEST CAPE MAY — Borough Commission has created a six-member advisory task force to come up with “imaginative and creative” ideas to improve the business district.
The enabling resolution creating the Community Business Task Force specifically uses that language as it calls for the group to have “the widest possible scope of inquiry and operations.”
The task force, which has not met yet, includes Dick Rigby, a professional planner and former borough deputy mayor, along with: Lynn Bowlby, an attorney; Dave Schultz, an architect; Curtis Bashaw, who owns local businesses and a farm off Stevens Street; Doug Carnes, a business owner and former head of a local business association; and Jack Wright, a publisher who operates locally.
“It’s a group that would be kind of a think tank to look at various issues the community has,” said Mayor Pam Kaithern. “They can look at marketing, zoning, infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike paths, and come back with recommendations for us.”
The task force will have no legislative authority and will report every six months to the commission. It can look into a variety of issues. The enabling resolution specifically mentions zoning, land uses, aesthetics, landscaping, traffic, pedestrian access, and overall quality of life but it is not limited to these issues.
The business district is based on Broadway, Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. The goal for several years has been to attract a diverse mix of businesses accessible not only to motorists but also to pedestrians, and with special incentives in some areas to have a mix of residential and commercial development.
The district has been growing in recent years. The borough’s first liquor store recently opened, Bashaw turned an old commercial building into an artisan’s cooperative of sorts called the West End Garage, and Park Boulevard has recently drawn an eclectic mix including an organic food store, a cheese shop and an organic restaurant.
The commission talked about the task force at a recent work session and even tried to come up with a creative name. The resolution calls it the Community-Business Task Force, but Kaithern suggested Community Business Collaborative, or CBC, though she also talked about getting the words “strategic vision” in the title.
Borough Engineer Ray Roberts said planning would go to 2020, so call it West Cape May 2020. Borough Attorney Frank Corrado supported the original name and that’s how it currently stands.
The borough also has received a grant from the state Department of Community Affairs to provide home repair loans to residents of low and moderate income. The money can go to code-related repair and weatherization. It does not cover interior decorating. Those interested in getting more information can contact Michael Borrero at 856-690-9590.
Contact Richard Degener: