STONE HARBOR - Following unsuccessful attempts to adopt a new lot grading ordinance, Stone Harbor Borough Council passed the controversial regulations, at its April 20 meeting, with some council members admitting they may need to be “tweaked.”
The ordinance failed the first time it came up for a vote due to disagreements over how it treated the area between the sidewalk and the curb, with the borough’s Flood Mitigation Committee preferring the area be devoid of grass or other treatments that required irrigation and the Planning Board expressing support for a drip irrigation option.
That controversial section of the proposed ordinance was removed.
What animated debate was the apparent ability of property owners to backfill the property to the 8-foot height of the bulkhead. While some argued this provision would allow for greater waterproofing of the bulkheads, others countered the high level of backfill leads to other alterations in the placement of decks, setback requirements, and other unintended consequences.
In the end, council members agreed to move ahead with the adoption of the ordinance, while leaving any unresolved issues for discussion at the Planning Board and future council sessions.