TRENTON, N.J. – The City of Wildwood could soon be treated like Atlantic City, Asbury Park and Long Branch in regards to waiving costly coastal permits required for residential and commercial development along the shore.
On Monday, an Assembly panel cleared Assemblyman Antwan McClellan’s (A2676) bill removing coastal area review permit requirements for certain residential and commercial developments beyond 500 feet of the mean high water line in Wildwood.
“The cost of these coastal area permits is a barrier for redevelopment in Wildwood,” McClellan said. “In order to encourage developers to see Wildwood’s potential, we need to give the city an advantage that similar shore towns possess. This puts Wildwood on a level playing field and primes it for an exciting comeback.”
Most coastal municipalities require a CAFRA (Coastal Area Facility Review Act) permit for a development beyond 500 feet of the mean high water line that would have 25 or more residential units or a commercial development with 50 or more parking spaces. A CAFRA permit for the proposed development of 38 townhomes and duplexes to replace a former catholic school on New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood could cost as much as $30,000.
The Senate bill (S1212), sponsored by Sen. Mike Testa, is awaiting a hearing in the upper house’s Community and Urban Affairs Committee.