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Friday, April 12, 2024

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Stone Harbor Introduces Courts Zoning Ordinance

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By Vince Conti

STONE HARBOR – Borough Council July 20 successfully introduced an ordinance that would create a residential D zoning district for the specific properties having street frontage on Bower Court, Stone Court, Weber Court or Linden Lane.  

The ordinance sets up regulations for the “responsible development and improvement” of the properties, including allowing the addition of a second story. 

Adding flexibility for more habitable space to courts properties has been a subject of discussion and debate at the borough’s Planning Board. Now that the ordinance was introduced, several residents, mostly from properties that abut the new zoning district, used the public comment period to express concerns. 

More space means more people, and more people means more cars, was one refrain heard from several speakers. Others expressed public safety concerns, especially regarding what they feel would be an increased fire risk 

Others argued that as the borough brings the court properties, which sit on undersized lots, into greater conformity with zoning regulations, the setback requirements also need to be considered, since many of these existing small homes go directly to the property line. 

Regardless of the nature of the objection, several residents are seeking to stop or alter the proposed new zoning regulations through a direct appeal to the governing body. Property owners from within the new zone did the same. 

The public hearing on the new ordinance is expected to be held Aug. 17, when the ordinance will come up for second reading and possible adoption. 

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