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Last Night’s Zoning Board


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    What a bunch of “bull——t”. No matter the outcome it will head to court. The planner for the objectors was on the money. We don’t need six townhouses. How about 4.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    From a member of the audience:

    “Kevin Kennedy talked for the first half hour, then Manny Fowler commented on his speech, then the meeting really started.

    A lot of this is interesting.

    At around the 2 hour mark, Bill Shipers takes on the objector’s planner.”

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    This whole idea makes me laugh. This guy has more money than God, so apparently he’s not in it for the money. He and others claim he loves Belmar. Well, he has a funny way of showing it. Wasting the time of these volunteer people board people and dividing the residents of the town. You really have to ask, “what truly is his motive”. I just don’t get it. Money has a weird way of affecting people. Build “one house” and live in it. This town has enough problems and to have a guy who “loves this town” do this is sickening.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  4. 2nd Ave wrote:

    Anonymous #3: yeah..I’m sure Merkler”s motives are sinister as a long time full time resident raising his family here. God forbid someone create a successful business from the ground up and want to invest in his home town. He will live in one of the units, sounds scandalous.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  5. 2nd Ave wrote:

    @ Anonymous #3 I wonder more about the part timers with the inherited family business.. importing fake trees from China..why don’t they just buy a house on the beach or ocean ave if they want to own a view? They had 5 years to buy the property and they are the ones wasting the time of the board.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Attended the meeting last night and I must agree with #1 “a lot of bull—t.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    #4- I applaud Mr. Moneybags for investing in his “home” town. A fair investment is spending One Million dollars to build a single family home worth Three Million dollars. WITH THREE TOILETS. NOT TWELVE. It’s apparent this town’s infrastructure can’t handle anymore toilets being flushed. He can thank his buddy Matt for that.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  8. 2nd Ave wrote:

    How many toilets does The White House have? Do you even know? More than the townhomes will have. 57 years of paying taxes on a property that is assessed at over 2 million, and the seller should sell for a million? It was zoned commercial when current owners purchased, so should their investment be worth nothing? I guess they should just give it away.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    The first half hour was actually the zoning lawyer explaining the laws rules and obligations of the zoning board in reference to all that is presented before them. In the end it seems that they have the power to indidually take or leave what each side is saying to make their decision.
    The planner for the neighbor fighting this very throughly described how the magnitude of Merklers plan far over reaches what is in Belmar Master Plan and zoning ordinances. Saying there is no blight to the area as newer homes have been built around the existing structure. That economic hardship only applies if it’s used for public domain or public usage. It was a great lesson on our ordinance laws pertaining to Master Plan. One thing that stood out was the plan had been reaffirmed in 2016, voted on by planning and Mayor and Council, to solidify that lot as R75 single family use.
    One thing that became abundantly clear is that if you have money to burn you have a chance at standing your ground. If you some elderly Joe or Janet Smoe
    your sunk if you try to protest what a developer is trying to do next door to your house. Mr Schipers is smooth and overwhelming and duanting. But if you’ve got the economic where with all you can mount a solid defense. The small fry doesn’t stand a chance.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  10. 2nd Ave wrote:

    #7 how many toilets does the White House have? More than the 6 townhomes have.. I love all the comments by those who have no clue. Also, I guess the family that owned the WH fir the last 57 years should give it away for less than half of the assesed value after all these years..

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink
  11. First Avenue wrote:

    The bullshit of the night was obvious to most of us, but we were polite enough to watch the presentation respectfully…. but we were there as well to speak in favor of this great project. The bullshit so clear, Objector, Objectors Attorney and Objector Planner. Im sure the objector made no threats to delay or kill the deal to the seller, I mean one of them sits and makes comments for the past four meetings that are rude and inaccurate. The objectors planner has testified while being unlicensed “over sight” and admitted he barely knew the area. he stuttered and deflected every question. This project is great for the entire community so many positives, great visual effect big improvement, becoming more of a residential setting will bring more people here to support the local businesses, development projects also bring jobs to people too. I can go on but Ill save it for the next meeting when I get the opportunity to show my support with testimony to the Board. Hang in their Merkler, you have more supporters then you think we just have class so we are not as rude, loud and obnoxious as those others.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
  12. First Avenue wrote:

    As for #7- if you think you can build a house that would sell for $3M with only $500,000, which would also have to cover professional fees (ie architect, engineer, permit fees, borough fees), YOUR INSANE. If you were buying a house for $3M you would want a hell of alot of up grades that cost big dollars. Maybe the infrastructure problems is this borough is being overcome with bullsh*t from people that don’t know what they are talking about

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
  13. Market Value wrote:

    What’s all this talk about how the poor White House owners shouldn’t have to sell their property for less than assessed value? Are you communists? The fair MARKET value is the fair market value. That’s our economy, that’s capitalism, that’s our country. Ya can’t make it up as you go along…you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Meanwhile, the property IS worth a lot of money even though it’s a tear down…..the market actually would bear close to $2mil for that lot. Add $4mil for a great house and your finished product isn’t priced higher than many of the new builds on Inlet Terrace.

    Stop the nonsense about the poor seller, or about the greedy builder/buyer, or that the builder/buyer is a great guy that loves Belmar…..NONE of it matters. We have ordinances and the real estate market, and adhering to ordinances after paying market value is completely doable.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  14. apocalypse now wrote:

    I was at this meeting – no one was rude or obnoxious and the objector’s planner was very on point and “deflected” whatever was irrelevant in this particular matter. Depends on your point of view, I guess. Poisoning the well, so to speak, by stating things from an emotional point of view is not helpful. Attempting to discredit a certified and recognized professional is playing dirty pool. Shipers in an earlier meeting, bringing in neighbors to testify in favor of the proposed construction, was out of bounds and recognized as such. Remember that personalities do not count, variances go with the property, not with the nice guys who love Belmar. And lawyers do what they do.

    Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
  15. Guest wrote:

    13 – Your spot on statement is only flawed by that fact that we are all being conditioned that capitalism is evil.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Firstly, I would rather live in a town that looked more like Spring Lake, than Asbury Park. Go look for a junker in Bradley Beach, knock it down, and build an apartment building. They would bend over backwards to greet you.
    Second- I believe, as I do, that most people resent the fact that THOSE WITH MORE MONEY THAN GOD, feel they are entitled to hire the best local attorney they could afford. Spend oodles for this survey and that, traffic studies, impact studies and such. All to circumvent the Master plans and building restrictions. We little people do not have the money to pursue this quest.
    People are tired of seeing the elite, Jussie Smolett, Lorie Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, numerous wealthy sports figures and on and on being allowed to get over on everyone because they are wealthy.
    Knock it down and build your home to live in by adhering to the rules we peons all have to live by.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink
  17. Guest wrote:

    #16 …. AMEN!

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  18. william merkler wrote:

    Lets set the record straight. If you value your family,health,friendships,and love you have, then yes,I am truly rich!I don’t feel the need to defend what I may or may not have financially,but I will tell you my wife and I have worked extremely hard for everything we have accomplished. We both try to live our lives and demonstrate to our 4 children that honest, hard work does pay off.We also feel that no one is above the law or deserves preferential treatment because of their wealth. I am determined to build a project that will transform the entrance of our community into a magnificent residential showpiece,that all residents of Belmar will be proud of. We currently have an eyesore that at any point could quickly transform into a nightmare. I hope that you support my vision and review the numerous properties I have transformed for the better of our community. Thank you!

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  19. joanne wrote:

    Exactly! Keep our property values rising buy adhering to the ordinance that lifted Belmar out of its run down state a few decades ago – single family homes replace anything that you tear down. Or to put it another way, do as Spring Lake would do. Spring Lake would never allow condos or townhomes to replace an oceanfront property.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    #19 Joanne,Essex and Sussex ring a bell. Run down hotel ready for the wrecking ball,SAVED by developers that turned it into condos!! Rezoned!!The Whitehouse is a dump and needs to go.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  21. OLD MAN wrote:

    #19 Exactly correct.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  22. Jen wrote:

    19 is exactly right!
    20 was the E&S torn down? No it was a grand restoration and houses seniors in SL. Perhaps a better option for The White House and seniors looking to retire in Belmar.
    Moreover, when the Warren Hotel and more of the older oceanfront hotels were torn down in SL – single family
    homes were their replacement. Know your history # 20.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  23. Small bank resident wrote:

    #16, #17,& #19—- you are truly just envious of other people’s financial situation blaming them for your apparent situation I believe you referred to yourself as a “peon”, and now are trying to make this a rich guy poor argument. Well you geniuses explain what happens to us peons who work and make modest livings, when out property taxes go through the roof. It’s inevitable as the situation sits today. How Is a low middle class family such as mine suppose to handle that kind of increase when there is not much already in disposable income. This project alone would increase the revenue to the borough and help the entire community by leassening the tax burden, it’s a beautiful project well done by a proud belmar resident, thus project helps our community and fits in right there with all the apartments, condos and multi family, it eliminates a business and is geared towards full time residents, who should be welcomed with open arms to help support our economy and borough. It’s a win for every one worried about getting there next tax bill. And this is where the success of others should be applauded and supported.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    #23- Didn’t realize that McMurphy legalized weed. Do you actually believe that an extra $25k raked in by the town will lower all property taxes across the town? Give the politicians another $25k and they will blow it on something stupid, guaranteed. Allow this project and just watch all of the homes near the beach leveled for condos and apartment buildings. Move to Asbury Park.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  25. elemental wrote:

    It will be interesting to see if the zoning board has any integrity in their role of upholding and thereby enforcing the borough’s zoning ordinances, not granting some variances to certain “buddies” or influential persons as in the past when, more or less, a puppetmaster pulled their strings. My opinion based on seasoned observation.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    24: Which houses on Ocean Avenue are you referring to in favor of their homes being leveled into condo/townhouse conversions.

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    Djais: conversion to Condos/Townhouses or E&S type living? Vote here on

    Friday, April 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    You cant just take any already single family house and get approval for multi family in a non-conforming zone. Very easy concept people—- the reason this is even being asked is this property is already a non-conforming commercial rooming house, townhouses would be more fitting then a rooming house, commercial property. Very simple concept here, not to difficult to understand. Half of the comments made are people speaking (typing) before they think or do research.

    Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    #28- You are very intelligent. However I do believe that knocking down a non-confirming rooming house and building a conforming SINGLE FAMILY home is allowed, and the best in all worlds, CORRECT oh intelligent one???????????????

    Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink
  30. anon wrote:

    #29 yes that is correct, nevertheless you might wish to note that The White house has been on the market for quite awhile and no one was rushing to buy it and build a single family home…just an observation,the Longs across the street have made a very large investment in their property [a beautiful job] and if they are not leading the opposition it would seem they prefer the Merkler project to what exists there now or waiting for that elusive buyer who will tear it down and build a single family

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    #30- Or maybe the Long’s have skin in the game???? And if the house has been on the market for a while perhaps they are asking too much for the property???? Some peoplr just think their property is worth more than it actually is. GREED at your expense.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  32. Guest wrote:

    #30 … Unfortunately the law does not consider the feelings of the Long’s or the Merkler’s. The law considers the best use of the land as designated by the Planning Board, and that board did not allow for condo’s.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  33. belmarfriend wrote:

    Topic for a separate discussion: what are the requirements for minutes of meetings of Council, Planning and Zoning to be posted on borough website? No minutes have been posted since 10/2/18!

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  34. anon wrote:

    #31 what kind of ‘skin in the game’ are you suggesting would have them allow something that would have their home and their investment jeopardized..that would take a lot of vig to buy them off which seems unlikely to be paid by owner or applicant.
    #32 who’s talking about feelings? The law provides for variances,that’s why bds of adjustment[now mostly combined with planning bds]exist. In proper cases which are presented properly to the board they then have the power to grant relief.It happens all the time,plenty of NJ cases on the subject.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    The Longs built their home while the White House was there and that didn’t stop them from building their exclusive home. Now it bothers them?

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    #35 Longs want to improve their neighborhood, that’s the only skin they have in the game. After 4 years on the market, Belmar should praise someone willing to invest millions of $$ to our community to beautify it. No one is going buy the Whitehouse and build one house.

    Monday, April 15, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  37. 2nd Ave wrote:

    #35 yes, they built their home how many years ago? Things change. The clientele for an old place with no frills is dwindling. 34 rooms to fill..year round expenses, seasonal income..the owners will get less selective about their guests to pay the bills.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink
  38. 2nd Ave wrote:

    Most are ignorant to the fact that a master plan is a guideline not set in stone, not law. Most beach towns have condos/townhomes along ocean ave. It allows more people to have access to a oceanview real estate. These townhomes fit right in to the block. No one is proposing knocking down existing/established single family homes to build condos. We are not Spring Lake, we have businesses along our Ocean Ave. PS The White House has 17 toilets, so 12 is an improvement and I doubt there will be regular weekend keggers happening when it becomes townhomes.

    Friday, April 19, 2019 at 1:33 am | Permalink
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    A light bulb just went on.To bad no one discussed the toilet use at the Belmar Inn, not including needle flushes.

    Friday, April 19, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    One more toilet in this town is too much. Go look at the crap, literally , that ends up on Rt 35. The infrastructure is being abused every time a toilet is flushed by a bar patron.

    Friday, April 19, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  41. 2nd Ave wrote:

    @40 Well then you agree. Townhomes will have less toilets than the White House currently has. Nevermind sinks, showers, and bathtubs. There will be more parking available as well.

    Friday, April 19, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  42. Anonymous wrote:

    Gee, let’s see. 17 toilets flushing 4 months out of the year or 12 PLUS toilets flushing 12 months out of the year. Give me the Single family home with 4 toilets please.

    Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  43. 2nd Ave wrote:

    #42 4 months of heavy flushing.. you and I know, just like the Puleos, the majority of owners of these luxury townhomes will be part timers.. unlike Mr. Russell who can rent his home for whatever terms he likes, the townhomes will most likely have bylaws preventing short term rentals.

    Monday, April 22, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

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