Council Moves to Take Control of Eyesore Gas Stations and Other Nuisance Properties

first_imgAbandoned Getty and BP gas stations greet visitors coming over the Ninth Street Bridge into Ocean City. Across the street is a vacant former Exxon Station.City Council voted 6-0 Thursday to approve a measure that would allow the city to take control of abandoned properties that become a nuisance to the community in Ocean City.Citing two New Jersey statutes, the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act and the New Jersey Urban Development Corporation Act, Mayor Jay Gillian’s administration had proposed the new “Abandoned Properties” section to its own Administrative Code.The vote was on the first reading of the proposed ordinance. It would not be final until a second reading (scheduled for May 14) is approved. City Council President Tony Wilson was not present at the meeting for the first-reading vote.In his weekly update last Friday, Mayor Jay Gillian suggested the first targets would be three vacant gas stations that greet visitors coming across the Ninth Street Bridge into town.“This is the entrance to our city,” Councilman Mike DeVlieger said. “It looks like heck.”The stations all have been cited by code enforcement officials, according to City Solicitor Dottie McCrosson.The proposed ordinance would authorize the mayor to assign an officer to create an abandoned properties list based on a variety of criteria (see full documentation in PDF below). Owners would have the opportunity to challenge being put on the list.The city would then have the right to take control of properties, borrow money to rehabilitate them, then recover costs through liens on sale of properties.The proposed ordinance would potentially be relevant to the abandoned Palermo’s Family Market property on the 400 block of Asbury Avenue — though a prospective developer already has said he would assume costs for demolition and remediation.In public comment, Susan Matthews, a resident of the 800 block of Wesley Avenue, said the city should make a priority of adding the vacant lots at the corner of Ninth Street and Wesley Avenue to the list.“This property is appalling,” she said, passing photos to council members that showed rusted rebar extending from partial foundation, stagnant water and overgrowth.Download (PDF, 436KB)last_img

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