MARGATE — A citizens committee is expected to present a petition to the city commission Thursday, requesting a referendum vote be taken on building a beachfront boardwalk.
The committee has collected 600 signatures, according to an email from its director Glenn L. Klotz.
The group will also present its report on research into boardwalk options, according to Klotz, and will request that the city commissioners conduct a poll of Margate taxpayers on the issue.
The commission meeting starts at 4 p.m. at the old City Hall Commission Chambers, 1 S. Washington Ave.
Margate’s commission form of government doesn’t allow residents to legally petition for a referendum, so the petition is intended to show the commission and the state that there is a strong interest, Klotz has said.
Regardless of the legality, Margate Mayor Michael Becker said the city has always followed through when it has gotten a strong request for a petition in the past.
Last month Klotz presented the report to more than 100 residents at the Ross School, where he and the group collected about 85 signatures.
The Boardwalk Committee spent the past year researching the feasibility and cost of building an 8,500-foot-long, 27-foot-wide wooden walkway between Ventnor and Longport, restoring a structure that existed more than a half-century ago before two major storms intervened.
Their motive is to improve the beach block after a 2017 replenishment project upset many residents due to the high dunes created, which they believe hurt beach access.
They believe a boardwalk will fix the beachfront.
The proposed boardwalk would include 30 to 40 access ramps and would run along the dune line, not the bulkhead like it does in Ventnor, giving homes more privacy. There also would be a dedicated bike lane, LED lighting, three or four pavilions with outdoor showers, foot showers, bathrooms and water fountains. The cost of this “ideal” boardwalk is estimated at $24 million, Klotz has said.
Other boardwalk options presented included a $14 million “basic” boardwalk with just ramps and the pathway, but no pavilions. A “Ventnor-style” boardwalk, about 20 feet in width, would cost $19 million.
To learn more about the Margate boardwalk project, visit TheMargateBoardwalk.com and the Friends of the Margate Boardwalk group on Facebook.
Staff Writer Claire Lowe contributed to this report.