There seems to be public confusion concerning the recent changes to Northfield's Land Use and Development Ordinance as revised by the Planning Board and set to be voted on by City Council on Oct. 9.
As mandated by state law, all municipal master plans must be periodically reviewed by the Planning Board, and from this process changes made to the land-use regulations. In Northfield, this multi-year project produced our updated plan, which incorporated all mandated state requirements, changes that addressed many problems brought up by our code enforcement officer, and zoning changes to parts of Northfield Avenue, Shore Road and East Mill Road.
Shore Road is and will remain residential in character. Two sections of Shore Road near Oakcrest Avenue and Casey Drive have a collection of businesses that have been there for many decades, predating the current ordinance. The proposal to change the zoning of these sections from residential to residential/business simply acknowledged what was already there, restricting what could go into these businesses, signage and the hours of operation. There was never a proposal to increase commercial activity on any parts of Shore Road. The new proposal would also allow these business properties to change tenants without having to go through a variance process, thus avoiding vacant properties such as the former Palumbo's Pharmacy.
The proposed change to parts of East Mill Road from residential to office/professional only affected three properties; the other properties there are already grandfathered professional offices. The residential lot size and parking restrictions would have severely limited the intensity of any new offices on these sites, and any other commercial activity was strictly prohibited.
As a result of public outcry, the changes to the Casey Drive and Mill Road areas have now been withdrawn, and the zoning for these areas will remain residential. However, it is important for the public to understand the rationale of what had been proposed and that it was consistent with good zoning practice.
Time for change -
Obama has failed
President Barack Obama continues to stumble his way through his term, which has largely been a failure.
Controlling both the House and Senate, he rammed through Obamacare rather than addressing the terrible state of the economy, which his campaign promised to improve.
Relations with our allies, such as Britain and Israel, are now strained, and our adversaries, such as Iran, do not respect us and pursue their anti-West agendas. Iran could have both a nuclear weapon and a delivery system in about one year, according to experts. Its military recently threatened to use missiles to destroy U.S. bases and target shipping in the Persian Gulf.
By now our president should realize that his goal of resetting relations with Russia, as well as Islamic nations, has not been realized; they do not respect or fear the U.S., and they certainly do not like or admire him. He does not understand the balance between diplomacy and the use of military power, as did George W. Bush and even Bill Clinton.
In short, Obama is in over his head and needs to return to private life. He has failed as an administrator of the executive branch of government and is too dogmatic in his ideology to see the wisdom of bipartisan efforts to benefit the American people. Whether he is likable or not is not the point. The problems are now too complex, numerous and serious for him to address. He is simply not equipped for it.
Currently, little gets done to help the people. If the GOP wins the Senate, even less will be done, given Obama's philosophy and approach to governing. It's time for a change.
Planners ruined O.C.
to aid builders, Realtors
Regarding the Sept. 15 story, "Ocean City's plan: Bring residents back":
The question is, where and how?
I read with total amazement this article about the Planning Board's decision to research changes in zoning that could increase single-family homes and the year-round population. Where was the common sense of previous Planning Boards as they savaged and destroyed single-family neighborhoods for the benefit of builders and real estate agents?
As an engineering professional, I am appalled at the utter disregard for orderly planning and zoning in Ocean City. Wake up, Ocean City. There is no way in the next 10 to 20 years that you can create an area of single-family homes without dropping them between duplexes. Where is the logic or planning sense in this type of approach?
Modern urban planning arose in response to the disorder and squalor of the slum areas created by the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. The new concept of the 20th century was zoning, which included the regulation of building activity - building, lot size and setbacks - to protect established neighborhoods.
We are in the 21st century, and all I see and read about are the problems of congestion, overbuilding and the reduction of open space in Ocean City. The damage has been done, and unfortunately everyone will have to live with it - and the consequence of a smaller full-time population.
LOUIS C. RIPA