HomeOcean to loosen zoning for govt. buildings

Ocean to loosen zoning for govt. buildings

By Kenny Walter
Staff Writer

OCEAN TOWNSHIP- In an effort to allow a tennis court to be constructed on Weltz Park, the Ocean Township Council is expected to amend the zoning ordinances to allow for taller government buildings.

During the June 23 meeting, the township council introduced an ordinance to allow for government buildings to be built up to 45 feet tall, which would allow the township’s tennis center to be constructed without a need for a use variance.

“Changes are being made to the zoning ordinance in regards to government buildings, and one of the government buildings being involved here, is the tennis court,” township attorney Martin Arbus said.

The plan is for the municipality to partner with Park Avenue Tennis Center LLC to construct indoor and outdoor courts that will be open to residents and non-resident. Plans call for the courts to be constructed at the present site of the municipal pool and tennis facility on West Park Avenue.

Ocean Township owns and operates the existing tennis and pool facility, which is adjacent to Weltz Park. The existing outdoor courts will be removed.

The construction is expected to cost the developer between $2 million and $2.5 million. When completed, the facility will be deeded back to the township for $1.

According to Township Manager Andrew Brannen, the developer will then lease the property from the township for $50,000 in the first year, with a 2 percent increase each subsequent year.

If adopted, the maximum height for government buildings would go from 35 feet to 45 feet. According to Arbus, the expected height of the tennis center is more than 42 feet.

Arbus said the current plan is for the township and the developer to seek approval from the Ocean Township Planning Board rather than the Ocean Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.

“When we agreed to the lease with the tennis center the agreement was that they were going to go in front of the planning board and it was very clear,” Arbus said. “Based upon the height of the building that was required because it is a tennis court the height exceeded the requirements of the zone.

“Understand the government building is a conditional use and when you have a conditional use if you vary from those specifications you got to the board of adjustments.”

 

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