Artist's rendering of proposed Jetty Motel.
CAPE MAY — A May 25 Planning Board hearing for the Jetty Motel was tabled until mid June because a change in the plans that could require a variance was not submitted 10 days in advance to the board to allow public comment.
Cape Jetty LLC was seeking preliminary site plan, minor subdivision approval and a variance. Engineer Vince Orlando, of Engineering Design Associates representing Cape Jetty LLC, said they were seeking minor subdivision of an existing “landlocked” 50-foot by 130-foot lot.
Part of the plan is to also reconfigure the existing motel lot to provide for 11,260 square feet.
The smaller lot is zoned residential (single-family home) while the larger motel lot is zoned commercial. Access to the residential lot proposed as a 20-foot wide access easement from Second Avenue.
Orlando said he did not believe the single family home to be constructed on the smaller lot would require any variances as far as bulk requirements.
He said Cape Jetty was seeking a variance from a land use law for the single-family home lot that requires all building lots must abut a street. He said the 20-foot easement would provide access to the site for emergency vehicles.
Orlando said he met with Cape May’s Fire Official who wrote a letter to the planning board secretary indicating the easement provided adequate access. He said the plans were modified to satisfy the Fire Official who had concerns with the construction of the new hotel because a portion of the driveway narrowed from 15-feet to 10-feet.
Orlando said the plans were amended “recently” and a copy provided to the board engineer and city’s Zoning Official. He said it “was not part and parcel of this application.”
The change in the plans involved removing 5 feet of landscaped area in the new hotel’s parking lot, said Orlando.
Attorney Mary J. Maudsley, representing a neighbor who objects to the Jetty Motel project, said neither she nor her clients had seen revisions in the plans for the project dated May 19 or the letter from the Fire Official.
Attorney Louis Dwyer representing Cape Jetty LLC said they received the letter from the Fire Official five days ago. He said the new plans had not been submitted before the meeting other than to Board Engineer Craig Hurless.
Hurless said a variance may be needed for the increase in the hotel driveway from 10-feet to 15-feet, which could increase lot and bulk coverage beyond what is permitted.
Planning Board Solicitor George Neidig asked why the board did not have the amended plans. Dwyer said if he had submitted plans “it would get into the 10 day deal and I didn’t do it.”
He the change in the plans removed a small section of grass. The board went into a recess. When it returned, Dwyer said the plans needed to be tweaked to get rid of three or four tenths of a percent of lot coverage to avoid a lot coverage variance and agreed the hearing be postponed until June. He said he would submit revised plans showing the additional asphalt.
Neidig said the plans needed to be submitted 10 days prior to the next meeting.
Due to time commitments of two attorneys, a special meeting has been scheduled for June 16, a Wednesday night, at 7 p.m.
Mayor Edward J. Mahaney Jr., a planning board member, suggested in a spirit of cooperation that Hurless meet with the Fire Chief Jerry Inderwies Jr. to go over the newest version of the plan. He suggested Orlando also attend the meeting.
The Jetty Motel application dates back to November 2006. City Council passed an ordinance in September 2006 changing six properties that were located in two zones to one zone including the Jetty Motel.
However, homeowners living within 200 feet of the proper where not given written notice, negating the ordinance causing project principals, Emmanuel DeMutis and Cape Jetty LLC to apply to the zoning board for a use variance.
In 2007, plan called for the current 35-unit motel to be demolished. The replacement would have 47 rooms, comprised of 35 two-bedroom units and 12 one-bedroom units for a total of 82 bedrooms.
The developer was proposing 31 stacked parking spaces, which would require a variance. Stacked parking involves parking vehicles in close quarters with cars often blocking each other using a parking attendant.
The city only permits stacked parking at Victorian hotels such as Congress Hall and the Inn of Cape May.
The Jetty Motel is a two-story “L” shaped building built in the late 1950s. The proposed condo-hotel would be four stories tall with parking under the building on the first floor level.
The city’s Historic Preservation Commission approved demolition of the motel in February 2006.