DATE: Saturday, April 09, 2016
WHAT: Special Membership Meeting of the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association
WHERE: Community Room on Pilgrim Pathway
This was a special OGHOA meeting called for the sole purpose of a presentation by the Parking Committee of a unified package of parking and vehicular recommendations for submission to the Neptune Township Committee and the Camp Meeting Association for improvement of parking conditions in Ocean Grove.
President Ann Horan opened the meeting at 10:05am and led the homeowners in a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Ann then turned the meeting over to Trustee and Parking Committee Chair Joyce Klein. The rest of the meeting was divided into 3 parts:
- Joyce’s presentation of the Parking Committee’s recommendations
- An open question and answer session
- A vote for or against approval of the recommendations.
The Parking Committee was formed in the Fall of 2015. Its 8 members are:
- Chair Joyce Klein
- Ken Buckley
- Barbara Burns
- Theresa Checki
- Billy Faccidomo
- Julie Hekker
- David Phillips
- Richard Williams
Their stated mission:
The OGHOA Parking Committee’s goal is to improve homeowners’ and residents’ access to parking near their homes during periods of peak parking demand.
Part 1: The Committee Report
The visual support of Joyce’s report was an all-encompassing 42 slide PowerPoint presentation that is now available on the OGHOA website under the Parking Committee tab. We encourage all readers to review it online. Here are but two important elements from that presentation.
First, a summation of the Committee process:
- They searched parking ordinances of similar beach and other communities to examine options and possible solutions.
- They conducted a parking survey of homeowners to better understand concerns in all sections of OG and to solicit suggestions from members of OGHOA.
- They explored many options in detail and then developed a comprehensive package of recommendations.
And second, a summary of that cohesive package of recommendations:
- Provide property tax paying residents with the ability to park near their homes with a permit.
- Township and the OGCMA cooperation to provide an efficient and convenient park & ride shuttle from designated parking areas (e.g., Neptune schools) to the auditorium and beach in season.
- Implement meter parking on the beach front.
- Implement time restricted parking in the Central Business District.
- Enforce current ordinances, particularly for commercial vehicles and DUI offenses.
- Restrict overnight parking of construction vehicles.
- Maximize use of parking lots at North and South Ends.
Part 2: Question and Answer
Following Joyce’s presentation there were 45 minutes of thought provoking question and answer. It is important to re-assert here that these are but recommendations for the Neptune Township Committee and CMA to review and deliberate: although the Committee presented the recommendations as a package, only parts might be acted upon, much could be changed in the process, and it is possible that either the Township or CMA might develop different initiatives.
Given the recommendation that one side of every street in Ocean Grove be reserved for homeowner permit parking, by far the most debated topic was who is entitled to permits, and would homeowners have the possibility of multiple permits.
- The Committee recommendation is a strict one permit per tax paying residence with no second permits (Inn and B&B owners can purchase up to 5 additional permits). The rational is that even with one side of every street being permit parking, there are not enough parking spaces for all homeowners, and the more parking permits made available, the more difficult it would be for a homeowner to park and the less significant a permit becomes.
- Counter arguments questioned why home and apartment renters who indirectly pay taxes through rentals are not entitled to permits, and the challenges for families with multiple cars having only one permit.
Another oft discussed topic was the legitimacy of restrictions on commercial vehicle parking, especially in light of a recommended overnight ban. Without bogging down into size and weight thresholds, there are many homeowners in town with commercial vehicles that also double as personal vehicles.
Other topics covered included:
- Dumpsters and PODS parked in town.
- Discussions on how an effective shuttle service to the beach and CMA programs might be developed and operate.
- How would revenue from parking meters be distributed.
- How to deal with abandoned and long-term parked cars on streets – use of routine street cleaning to require mandatory movement of cars.
- Fairness of recommendation that homeowners with driveways not entitled to a permit.
- More efficient and better monitored parking in the South end (and if allowed by the CMA) North end parking lots.
- More late night police patrol of North side of town when late-night Asbury Park revelers return to their cars.
- How commercial zone three-hour parking would be enforced.
In a discussion on the hours for an overnight parking ban for large commercial vehicles, Township Committeeman Randy Bishop suggested that the hours match the noise ordinance in town, and the recommendations were amended to reflect a 7pm to 8am recommended parking ban.
Part 3: The Vote on the Recommendations and Next Steps
When all questions had been answered and discussed, homeowner Andi Clark made a motion that the Parking Committee Recommendations be formally approved by the membership, and the motion was seconded by homeowner Theresa Checki. There being a required quorum present, the motion was approved by a vote of 64 to 5.
With the recommendations approved, the next steps for the Parking Committee are to schedule a time to make the same presentation to the Neptune Township Committee and to share the recommendations with the Camp Meeting Association. The clock is ticking toward the Summer 2016 season, and whether any of the recommendations can be adopted in time is a matter of speculation.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately noon.
SUBMITTED BY: Richard Williams, OGHOA Secretary