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Thursday, April 18, 2024


Cape May Preservation Panel Backs Police Station Design

Renderings of the new police station in Cape May.

By Vince Conti

CAPE MAY – The Cape May Historic Preservation Commission has expressed strong support for the design of the proposed new police station at the corner of Lafayette and St. Johns streets even though the design at this stage lacks many points of detail.

City Manager Paul Dietrich said the city sought the advisory opinion from the Preservation Commission now because it hoped to put construction of the station out to bid this summer and to have work begin in the fall.

The site for the new station is in the historic district. Throughout discussion of the matter at its Feb. 15 meeting, members of the Preservation Commission expressed strong support for the project and for the design of the building.

One focus of discussion was the building’s proposed tower, which one member, James Testa, said he would prefer to have removed. Most of the talk later focused less on removing the tower and more on considering a more modest height.

Preservation Commission Vice Chair Tom Carroll summarized the commission’s review by saying its report will contain comments on the existence or height of the proposed tower and the roofing materials to be used, as well as concerns about lighting fixtures.

Dietrich said the city was attempting to reach resolution on a related matter.

The city is seeking approval from the state for what has come to be called “the swap,” an offer from the city to the state to gain development access to a small lot at the corner of the Lafayette Park grounds where the municipal dog park is currently located.

The land is part of the state’s Green Acres program and cannot be developed. The city is offering to transfer to Green Acres 4.86 acres along the already protected Sewell Tract, a 100-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Coast Guard base, in exchange for the lot for the police station.

Dietrich said that the state has given preliminary approval for the exchange, and the city is working to complete requirements to bring the exchange to a close.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at


Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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