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Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Crest to Remove Some Residents’ Paving, Landscaping Work

Christopher South
Private property owners enjoy dressing up areas that are actually in the right of way, however, they will be removed as part of street-end improvements in Wildwood Crest.

By Christopher South

WILDWOOD CREST – Some residents can expect a letter from the borough advising them that paving or landscaping modifications they made will have to be removed as part of street-end and bulkhead upgrades.

The borough is looking at upgrading bulkheads and raising them to comply with state Department of Environmental Protection changes, but so far is not mandating that bulkheads on private property be raised. What is likely to happen, though, is that the borough will remove existing, private landscaping or pavers that are in the borough’s right of way.

“Whenever we do a street reconstruction project it means tearing up streets, curbs, gutters and sometimes sidewalks,” Mayor Don Cabrera said at the May 8 commission meeting.

Cabrera said that over the years people have either replaced the poured concrete with pavers or slate, or have installed landscaping timbers – something other than poured concrete – making them “a little more high-end or expensive.”

He said the borough is not going to maintain this high-end paving, and he does not expect the taxpayers to pay for maintenance or replacement of pavers and such.

“We need to let them know we are intending to put back concrete and, unfortunately, they are going to lose these niceties,” the mayor said.

Cabrera said the borough’s engineer was out surveying the bayside street ends and bulkheads and has made note of places with personal paving or landscaping, including paving between the sidewalk and curb.

He said that area needs to be permeable so some stormwater can get into the ground there. He said where there are deviations from what the borough installed in the right of way, the owners will receive a certified letter telling them of the borough’s plans to remove it.

“I know when we address this, as with other projects, I get push-back saying, ‘I paid for that.’ Well, even if the borough wanted to put it back sometimes it gets damaged. In fairness to all taxpayers, it’s not fair to pay for upgrades,” Cabrera said.

The mayor said that, also in fairness, the borough did not mandate changes to bulkhead height for private property except where there are substantial improvements to the property, amounting to 50% of the property value, but the rights of way will have to be addressed in cooperation with the borough’s bulkhead/street-end improvements.

He said letters giving the overall details of the project are scheduled to go out May 23, and letters addressing the modifications homeowners have made in the rights of way will be sent out after Memorial Day.

Cabrera said the street-end project might be delayed as the borough waits on money for at least one pumping station on the bay, but that would not hold up the letter regarding the modifications.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 5 p.m. in borough hall.

Contact the reporter, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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