Winter weather blasted its way onto the scene in late November and has shown no signs of letting up in December. Brrr! And the wind doesn’t seem to let up much.
The El Nino, which brings warm moist air from the Pacific Ocean and sends it toward the East Coast, is supposed to affect our winter weather here in Cape May County. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has taken that in mind when predicting a warm, wet winter for us. I like the WARM part.
The best part about winter here at the shore is that solitude can be found when walking on the beach or in the woods. The winter birds are around and are less hesitant to allow you to come close. The turkeys especially are fun to watch as they have grouped up into flocks of as many as 30.
We’ll all endure the winter, get in some forays into Florida or the Caribbean, and spring will be here before we know it. C’mon spring!
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
The Stone Harbor Borough Council has brought up an interesting dilemma whose solution may affect more shore communities.
Since FEMA regulations are requiring new buildings to have a higher elevation, should Stone Harbor allow exterior front stairs to encroach closer to the sidewalk? To meet the height standard, the front needs a couple more stairs so as not to be too steep and the treads too narrow. The Planning Board approved the new front setback, but the Council is unsure and has tabled the ordinance until January so they can ponder its ramifications.
From here at my desk, the setback change seems fair and it shouldn’t affect sidewalk pedestrians. If the ordinance is approved, or perhaps even if it isn’t, other shore towns may take a look at implementing the change.
WILDWOOD BACK BAY
It’s been two years since we first reported on a plan to have Wildwood’s Back Bay finally developed. It appears that little has been done to get things going.
The property in question is 26 acres off Susquehanna Avenue owned by the city. At one time it was the city’s dump. Residents brought everything imaginable there – tires, TVs, broken concrete, household rubbish, etc. The dump was never properly closed, so the NJ Department of Environment Protection will not sign off on any building project until that is taken care of.
Initially, the proposal was for 298 homes by K. Hovnanian. It has been downgraded to 100 homes plus a marina and restaurant, with the latest developer being Back Bay Wildwood, which would pay $1 million for the city owned land.
To date, no one seems certain if Back Bay Wildwood is going through with the project. Contracts were actually never signed. But everyone does agree that some sort of development needs to take place, which will turn the blighted area into a handsome tax ratable.
The city of North Wildwood is creating a “no wake” ordinance to protect property in floods. Residents had complained that motorists speeding down flooded roads were causing waves that went over the curb and sidewalk. It sometimes caused the waves of water to breach doorways, pushing water into buildings.
The new ordinance will address driving in any standing water of six inches or more. Expect to see other shorefront communities subject to flooding to follow North Wildwood’s lead.
The city of Wildwood is considering going solar to save taxpayers money. A presentation by National Energy Partners looks promising.
By putting solar panels on municipal buildings and other city owned land, the city would save 30-40% on their electric bills. Kilowatt usage costs would drop from the current 12.7 cents to around 7 cents per kilowatt hour.
A perk to this agreement, which would be for 15 years, is that NEP would be responsible for design, permitting, installation and any financing needed. Sounds like a win-win.
There’s lots of news about stores and restaurants. The old K-Mart space will be
divided in two, with NJ Social Services utilizing one part and Tractor Supply the other. Tractor Supply has announced a June 2019 opening.
Marshalls is leaving Cape May Court House and moving to Rio Grande next to Aldi’s. They won’t be leaving a void however, as T.J.Maxx is owned by the same parent company as Marshalls.
The addition to Walmart, which includes groceries, is almost completed. Construction on the old Atkinson’s Tavern, however, is moving slowly.
NOW’S THE TIME
It is a good time to get into the Cape May County real estate market. For sellers; prices are slightly increasing and demand is way up. You’ll be going to the bank before you know it.
For buyers; there is sufficient inventory so that family legacy you’ve always dreamed about is out there waiting for you to pull the trigger.
I love to talk about real estate and our island. I am always glad to share my insights, observations, and visions.
I am still involved in real estate 365 days a year. It’s my passion. I will gladly handle listing your property, give you a free market analysis, or show you a wide variety of properties that may suit your needs.
Stop by our office at 5602 New Jersey Avenue and chat. Or give me a call at 609-780-7131. I answer my phone 8am to 9pm EVERYDAY and you always get a real, live person. That’s service!